Neurochemistry what the heck does that have to do with addiction?

This is my third blog post on addiction and completes this series.

Disclaimer: I am not a scientist, I have studied the subject of neurochemistry in relationship to addiction, but these are my own conclusions and opinions coming from that studying and my experience.
Do your own homework, remember you are your own best teacher!
I am not the font of all knowledge or the oracle (Yet! lol, I need a few hundred years, crap do I have to become a vampire …. damn, well it might not be so bad!) I’m a mere mortal with some life experience which once healed, ended up with a touch of wisdom. (Well I like to think so anyway.) Neurochemistry of addiction

I’ve mentioned being ‘at choice’ in my previous posts. Within the context of addiction this means how much will power do I have at my disposal in this moment in order to apply my sobriety strategies successfully.

Here’s an exert from my previous blog post:
“Another huge piece of unwrapping the puzzle for me anyway was with a biofeedback machine, from the HeartMath institute. With a simple program on the computer I was to get the program into ‘coherence’, the sweet spot where I was happy. So once I had that down, I started to play with my thoughts to see where some of my triggers were. I got the machine into coherence and thought one word ‘Cocaine’, my coherence vanished into the toilet, that didn’t surprise me, to this day 11 years later, I get butterflies in the stomach thinking the word.
What did surprise me, was that even though I got right back to thinking the thoughts that got me into coherence the first time, it took 3X as long to get me back to my happy place. This was shocking and illuminating to me. No wonder when we use ‘whatever’, the ability to stop gets harder and harder. We are less and less ‘at choice’, and this brings us to neurochemistry. ”

So to explain we need to get a bit sciencey which I actually love.

We need to start at the very beginning of your life, which starts in utero.
There used to be a belief that our neurochemistry was set at birth and that was that. Now we know better, we know about the brain’s plasticity. The brain can change and heal, yes you heard me. Now that doesn’t give you a free pass to go and drink yourself into oblivion thinking that all the cells your are killing will heal. (Yes I know some of you went there, don’t bullshit an ex-bullshiter).

From the time we are fully formed in utero to approx. 6 yrs old all experiences from the child’s perspective create a reaction in the brain’s neurochemistry. Perceived positive experiences make it rise and perceived negative experiences make it drop. (I’m sure it’s far more complicated that that, but in simple terms ….). Then around 6 yrs old the neurochemistry sets to the average of all those experiences.

Now the word perceived is very important as these experiences are from the child’s perspective, not necessarily the truth (whatever that means, and I will not go down that particular rabbit hole!). So a child that is ill and ends up in the hospital for days, may experience abandonment due to their parents not being able to stay with them the whole time. They are actually not abandoned, but we come from our perspective of reality even when little. I imagine many parents when playing hide and seek with their little child had the experience of their child being totally shocked when you found them easily. You found them easily because you could see a part of their body. When the child is very young, if they can’t see you they think you can’t see them, and are astounded when you find them because even though part of their body was clearly visible to you, they cannot yet imagine that. “How did you find me mommy?” I loved those moments with my child, absolutely precious.

So your neurochemistry is now set, but where did it set? I have a hypothesis that addicts that prefer booze and pot, (downers, they chill you out) have their neurochemistry set higher than non-addicts, and addicts who prefer stimulants like cocaine, (They ramp you up) have their neurochemistry set too low. This is purely speculation but I like my theory, would that someone does a research paper on this, I’d love to find out. If I am correct it would also help create better pharmaceuticals that target more accurately, rather than the hit or miss that seems to be the norm at the moment. Not that I’m advocate for the pharmaceutical industry far from it, but some medication is good, it’s not all black and white in life.

So regardless of where your neurochemistry is set, the more you use your addiction of choice, the more it affects your neurochemistry. As illuminated with the HeartMath biofeedback machine even the word, of my favourite substance affected my neurochemistry, imagine what actually using if for hours did. Then (I’ll use cocaine as it is what I most familiar with), you crash once you stop using it. In particular your dopamine crashes, as cocaine is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor which is why it makes you feel so damn good. It jacks your dopamine up and then stops it from coming down. Now you awake with a cocaine hangover, which means your dopamine is in the proverbial toilet, which means you are severely depressed neurochemically and otherwise. Which lasts from my experience 3 days with day 2 being the worst. Now think back to the first blog post about my experience as an addict, add to that this information …… and shitballs if you have no compassion now you are the spawn of Voldemort and do not have a heart!

To illuminate the ‘at choice’ concept I’m going to use a neurochemistry set point scale of 1 – 20, 10 being the average for non-addicts. Say before I started using cocaine my neurochemistry was generally (yes it does fluctuate) set at 8. Then I use cocaine, it skyrockets to 16, then I stop and it plummets to 4. Then once I’ve gone through the depression stage after not using, it goes back up but only to 7 not my usual setting of 8. Then I use cocaine, it skyrockets to 16, then I stop and it plummets to 3. Then once I’ve gone through the depression stage after not using, it goes back up but only to 6 not my usual setting of 8. Then I use cocaine, it skyrockets to 16, then I stop and it plummets to 3. Then once I’ve gone through the depression stage after not using, it goes back up but only to 5 not my usual setting of 8. Getting the idea, I’m making the numbers up to show a cycle, do not take these numbers as factual they are not. I tried to make a fancy ass diagram to illuminate this, but once I started all the other factors made things much too complicated for me to draw out. As one needs to add to that the knowledge that it takes longer and longer to get back to normal, that the drugs effects wane and more and more is needed, depression increases, that stresses play a role, on and on. Well that’s one rolling ball than never mind ‘gathering no moss’, will just explode at some point. The proverbial ‘bottoming out’, straw that broke the camels back, etc. happens.

So no matter what strategies I use for sobriety, at each stage I have less and less chance that my strategies will be successful, no matter how much I intellectually want to not use, physically my neurochemistry is handicapping me. I am less ‘at choice’.

So …… yes I take full responsibility for choosing to use cocaine, and yes I chose addiction as a way to numb my pain, the pain that I had before I started using addiction as a self medicating strategy. I started numbing pain when I was very little, with food. Then came cigarettes at 13, then pot at 18. I fought them all successfully on and off throughout my life. It wasn’t until I was 40 that I tried cocaine and knew with the very first line that I was well and truly screwed. I had found the substance that hit my sweet spot of numbing that pain, and having battled addiction for as long as I could remember, I didn’t think I would win this one. Thankfully I was wrong.

Hopefully now you have learnt something new about addiction and why it is so hard to overcome it. Addicts need our help and support when they ask for it. They have to recreate their world from scratch with a neurochemical imbalance, depression and choosing to stop using the thing that made life tolerable. They have to face and feel a lifetime of pain and heal.

Do not try and rescue an addict or force them into treatment, it will not work in the long term, addicts need to make that choice themselves. If you feel that you have to rescue or force them into treatment, take a big look in the mirror, because you are not actually doing it for them, even if you think you are. You are doing it for you. That might be hard to hear, you may be calling ‘bullshit’, but underlying everything we do, is a motivation that leads right back to us.

For my part, my motivation for this series on addiction I knew wasn’t to just to help addicts and non-addicts alike. I knew because when that person talked about addicts with disgust and loathing (see 1st blog post on addiction) I had an uncomfortable reaction. That was my red flag. If I had completely healed my issues around addiction the disgust and loathing would not have created a reaction in me. I would have know it was just their stuff without any emotional reaction other than compassion. I know this to be true from all the healing work I have done.

It has been through writing these posts that what lurked beneath …. has become clear. What I now know, is underneath my desire to write these posts, I was hoping for forgiveness, hoping for acceptance from outside myself. (Do not give it to me, you will not be helping!) Trying once again to dislodge feelings of inadequacy, judgement, shame and blame through others acceptance. It was exactly this dance that I did with my parents as a young child, changing who I was, in order to be loved. That was how I wounded myself, so much so, that I needed to numb the pain of my own betrayal.

I did not realize this when I started this series, I thought that layer of the proverbial onion was healed, but alas it was lurking in my subconscious, I did not want to see it. However …. hello, bonjour there it was.

Now I once again have done my healing work around my shit, healing a little more, and become a more balanced human. Grateful for the person who unknowingly pushed my buttons. They brought the next piece in my healing journey front and centre, and I am grateful to myself for seeing it.

 

HEALING through CEREMONY, healing, ceremony, healing ceremony, shamanism, past history, past relationship, pain, past relationship pain be gone, Michele fire-river heart, medicine woman, Gabriola island, British Columbia, Canada, focus, perspective, attention, addiction, sobriety, feelings, hope

Addicts are warriors in their own right!

So in my previous blog post I said I would tell you how I got successfully sober, I did everything listed below and more. My ‘story’ of that time is really not important, and I have told it before. Right now I do not need to revisit that whole story to share the juice of sobriety.

Suffice as to say ….
I was in deep addiction, I manifested dropping the bottom out of all my basic needs support systems, couldn’t pay the rent, nowhere to go, disillusioned with even considering I could get sober again for the umpteenth time, thought I had tried everything, year long addiction program, self help, healing ceremonies and rituals, leaving my addictive mate over and over again, and going back to him over and over again, I was hope free. However …. I had an amazing compassionate supportive circle of people in my life. My closest shamanic sister said the magic words I probably couldn’t have heard from anyone else.
“You can’t get sober and hold it staying in your life!” So I asked for help from my shamanic teachers, which led to a ‘Yes be out in BC on our land in 3 weeks, leave your car, I know you can do it, goodbye’ (I lived in Ottawa at the time). So, I closed up 3 business, sold, recycled and stored the balance of my possessions in about 3 different friends places, got gifted money from clients and my mom, broke up with my mate, kissed my adult daughter and family goodbye, and landed in BC 3 weeks later. Not quite sure how the heck I’d pulled it off. Ever seen ‘Galaxy Quest’ when the main character get’s shot from the spaceship to earth in the ‘jelly capsule’? Remember his reactions when he landed ….. same!
AND then the healing in sobriety began.

I have a lot of information below. Beware the dreaded overwhelm. If you feel so inclined pick one thing to try initially, do not set yourself up for failure by putting unrealistic expectations on yourself. Getting to sobriety is a journey that you start in addiction. Slowly, slowly you gain wisdom, knowledge and enough experience to get to successful sobriety. Remember you are always doing the best you can in each moment, even when it doesn’t look pretty!     Sometimes it helps to see the little innocent child you were, help her/him/they to heal, get a photo, stick it somewhere to tap into that energy. Be gentle with yourself, as often as you can, and if you can’t perhaps that can be a goal?

Addiction is a way to numb pain
It is not in the substance or behaviour it’s in the brain

Do not ask: Why am I an addict?
Ask: What is causing me pain!

Dr. Gabor Maté, the preeminent authority on addiction today: a quick 3:25 mins. video on addiction

There is one underlying principle to sobriety, it is the ability to feel your pain and heal the traumas that have/are creating the pain.

Which if you could’ve done it alone you would have.
How many times have you tried ….. lots I am betting
You are not weak, it is not a matter of self control
You are brave, you are strong, you do battle every day in order to survive
You are warrior even if you do not feel that way right now

So you want to get sober ….
Are you doing it for you?

Getting sober for others, or because you think/feel you ‘should’ is a waste of time and energy, and just layers more guilt, shame and blame on top of that huge pile you’ve already accumulated each time you do not succeed.

Set yourself up for success:
~ Go for sobriety when you desire it with all your heart for yourself
~ Ensure your have un-judgemental compassionate support in place from day one of sobriety
~ Know that you are willing to make the radical changes necessary to support your sobriety
~ Know that you are willing to start the process of healing the pain and trauma of your past
~ Make sure you know where to get medical help if you need it.

So …..
Heal the pain and trauma = Sobriety
Sounds simple, well it’s not …..

The missing link to sobriety for many, is having a person or people who will hold a space for you with compassion for you to heal your trauma.

Which is why AA, NA, etc. are so popular, but in the end you need to stop telling your stories about addiction, it will not help you stay sober. It will keep you locked into your past, always afraid that you might go back into addiction. You will be a dry addict, not actively using in that moment, but holding your breath waiting for the next excuse that will validate going back into addition.

Sobriety takes
~ Healing while in addiction
~ Self awareness of your patterns, buttons, back doors. Not all at once, just start watching yourself, get to know how you tick.
~ A willingness to take responsibility for your actions
~ Understanding that stress is one of your biggest challenges. The more stressed you are the greater the risk that you will use. First stress of the day: you breathe deeply, 2nd stress you’re swearing, 3rd stress you kick something, 4th stress you’re yelling, 5th stress you’re white knuckling it, you’re overwhelmed, you cave and use. I’m not saying this is your pattern just an example of stress escalation.

Sobriety takes
~ Strategies, strategies lots of them, strategies are your friend.
No one strategy works all the time, so have lots

~ Knowing your ‘sweet spot’ as within that ‘sweet spot’ lies your greatest chance of success. It is those moments when you are so tired of the addiction dance you crave sobriety for you, as well as having practical matters aligned. i.e. a support system, a sober place to stay, medical support if needed and strategies. By extension know when you are most at risk. Where are you, how do you feel, what stresses you out. (This is a strategy)

~ Practice, patience and persistence – the 3 ‘P’s’ I used to call it and would use it as a mantra as well (This is a strategy)
If you think you don’t have those skills ……. Surprise! …. Yes you do.
Think of your determination when needing to score, the skills you used…. practice, patience and persistence. How often did you not score when you wanted to ……. yeh exactly, you got this!
Use those skills for your sobriety, it’s the exact same skill set just with a different goal.

Sobriety takes
~ Acknowledging your successes – Think of all those times you didn’t use when you wanted to, I promise you those moments far outweigh the moments you cave and use. Carry around a wee notebook and pen, every time you want to use and don’t mark it down, do not mark down when you cave, this is an acknowledging success piece (This is a strategy)

~ Mark each day of sobriety some how, whatever works for you. Make it visual. For 5 years I put a bead every day sober onto a string, and hung the strings around the room I lived in the most. (This is a strategy)

Sobriety takes
~ A willingness to keep fighting for yourself by doing your healing of past trauma(s)
~ It takes erasing your past history, not sitting in a circle rehashing your war stories, all that does is take your right back to those moments and keeps those memories alive.

Sobriety takes
~ Many attempts at sobriety, before you have a totally successful sobriety, sobriety that sticks. I have never heard of someone who tried first time and succeeded, I’m not saying it can’t happen it’s just not the norm.
If you were learning a new skill, trail and error would be expected,
so cut yourself some slack, at this point sobriety is a new skill.
You have found a way to numb your pain, forget your trauma for a little while, and now you’re asking yourself to take away the proverbial net.
That is no easy decision ….. it takes courage ….. you are a warrior!
Oh yes, I hear that negative internal dialogue, judging yourself, heaping guilt, shame and blame on yourself, ‘I’m not a warrior, what shit is she spewing,?” Blah, blah, blah. A lot of that may have been heaped on you from friends, family and/or society at large …. Guess what F_ _K them, they do not know your pain, your trauma, your battle, if they did they would have compassion, not judgement.
Compassion for yourself will be a huge turning point in your ability to attain and/or maintain sobriety, and increase your ability to do the courageous stuff, to heal.

My turning point as far as compassion for myself was about 3 months into my successful sobriety. As part of my healing journey the woman who was facilitating it gave me some homework. I was to read Gabor Maté’s ‘In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts – Close encounters with addiction’. I got the pieces I personally needed to have compassion for myself, and it rocked my world, it changed how I felt about myself dramatically.

Sobriety takes
~ The courage to get back on the horse if you go back into addiction
~ Learning what shakes you out of balance, your triggers, mirrors of self-reflection, your energy patterns.
Sobriety takes
~ Changing your life.
~ Cutting out anyone in your life that is an addict or linked to that world. That back door needs to be closed.
~ Closing all back doors to excuses to use, which means cutting out anyone in your life that uses substances or behaviours that were your addictions, IF they will not abstain when you’re around. This bit isn’t for life, but it takes many years in my experience before it’s not a trigger.
Now this then means quite often that to get sober you will have to leave a lot of people that you love/like behind. If you do not, your odds of being successful are unlikely. It can be a lonely road, but you have a choice doing all the work needed to become sober and leaving back doors open so you can fail with a convenient excuse, or getting ruthless and closing them all. You are a warrior you can take the path that leads to you winning the war not just one battle.

Sobriety takes
~ Forgiveness, you have to forgive yourself, you’re doing the best you can, and you keep trying
~ Cleaning up any messes you made while in addiction, owning your shit and apologizing for it, without expectation of forgiveness. You do it to clean up your emotional slate, regardless of their reaction. This is a friggin’ hard one, but really important. Make sure you have compassionate support when doing these pieces. You know that huge shit pile of shame, blame, guilt and self judgement, these are the additional pieces you added to the pile over and above the initial traumas that led to you choosing addiction as a means to survive your pain.

Another huge piece of unwrapping the puzzle for me anyway was with a biofeedback machine, from the HeartMath institute. With a simple program on the computer I was to get the program into ‘coherence’, the sweet spot where I was happy. So once I had that down, I started to play with my thoughts to see where some of my triggers were. I got the machine into coherence and thought one word ‘Cocaine’, my coherence vanished into the toilet, that didn’t surprise me, to this day 11 years later, I get butterflies in the stomach thinking the word.
What did surprise me, was that even though I got right back to thinking the thoughts that got me into coherence the first time, it took 3X as long to get me back to my happy place. This was shocking and illuminating to me. No wonder when we use ‘whatever’, the ability to stop gets harder and harder. We are less and less ‘at choice’, and this brings us to neurochemistry.

Which I know I said I’d deal with in this blog post, but I’m done for today. I’ll put it in my next one.

RESOURCES
Dr. Gabor Maté videos – How Addiction Works –  (There are many videos on YouTube, I’ve just picked one)
Dr. Gabor Maté books
HeartMath Institute

HEALING through CEREMONY, healing, ceremony, healing ceremony, shamanism, past history, past relationship, pain, past relationship pain be gone, Michele fire-river heart, medicine woman, Gabriola island, British Columbia, Canada, focus, perspective, attention

Ever had one of THOSE days …..

Ever had one of those days that by the end of it, you are feeling like these guys look?

“Hell yeh’ I can hear you say, or perhaps, ‘yup’, ‘yes’, ‘oh my yes’!  Whichever way you say it, we all know it sucked! Didn’t go our way, was challenging, etc.

Now the question is, how did you handle it? Were things thrown, did you yell, did you pound the life out of a pillow, how about a primal scream? Or did you breathe deeply and use patience?

Today was a day like that for me. I awoke to the sound of rain, checked the weather forecast sent my working partner an IM cancelling our gardening work for the day and rolled over to go back to sleep. Well hello …… now I’m awake. Okay up I get and have a number of business things to do on my agenda now that I have at home work day. Great I think to myself I’m going to get a lot accomplished, that’s going to feel good.

Hmmmmm I think the metaphorical Gods were playing with me today. Let’s see how long Michele can keep her cool! Anger used to be a number one issue for me, and not that I am free and clear of it, but I have made huge strides in learning to use patience and yes deep breaths to calm myself down before I spiral into a volcanic display to match my medicine name. (Fire-River = lava flow)

I needed to buy some supplies online that I hadn’t purchased before and when I got to the checkout noticed that there was an area for a coupon number. The shipping was a hefty $20 and so I thought ooooooh let’s see if I can get a coupon. Well yes I could halve my shipping with a coupon I found, but first I needed to make an account with the coupon company. Okay that done I try to redeem my coupon. However I got the dreaded “Site is not responding” page…… I breathed deeply and tried again, and again and again. Okay I am no longer breathing deeply I am irritated, I fire off a question to the company asking what the problem is, and go and do some other work.

I am now back to calm and a while later yay an email response, the coupon site is for American coupons only. Okay I get it, but I really try to not have my info out there willy nilly so I decide to cancel the coupon website membership …. I look, and look and look and there is no info on cancelling the membership and the only contact to answer that question seems to be snail mail. Well that’s not happening. So ……. I breathed deeply unsubscribe from emails and hoped for the best. So not discount, suck it up Michele just pay the full shipping cost.

So back to my ‘cart of supplies’. All looks good and there are lots of payment options. I choose MasterCard but it will not go through, I know my card is good, so I try again, and again and again, persistence is a good trait ya know! Finally I give up as I figure out my MC wouldn’t work because it wasn’t 3-D whatever the heck that means …… I breathed deeply and chose a different payment method. 2 choices Interact or eTransfer. I tried to log into my bank account and it didn’t work, I get those awful words ‘Incorrect user name or password’ in red, like that’s helpful when a person is already irritated, let’s make them see RED, someone isn’t thinking. How about calming blue, or green or aqua? I breathed deeply and ……. well you know persistence. Okay, let’s try a different tack I know my numbers and password are correct, but they’ve just updated their website, so for shits and giggles perhaps changing my password will make everything okay. …… NO! Right I’m phoning the bank now, I’m on hold of course and just by the way “We may use voice identifying software”, yup like I want anyone to have a voiceprint of mine, next I’ll have to give blood to access my account. (Okay I have been reading a vampire series I admit it) I get a patient young man and figure out the problem. Yay I’m over the moon, this purchase is getting done today come hell or high water.

I’m in to my bank account, but now because I’ve never made apayment to this company before I have to add them to my bill payments list. I do so, but when I go to the next section to pay …… fu_ k_ _g    h_ll    the company is still not on the bill payments list. I breathed deeply and tried again, and again and again. Okay never mind I tell myself I will try an eTransfer I use them all the time, this is a no brainer. I add them to my eTransfer list, and go to send one …… fu_ k_ _g    h_ll    the company is not on the eTransfer recipient payments list. I breathed deeply and tried again, and again and again. Nope, nada, no joy.

I get up and go into the kitchen …… kaboom did you feel the M8 earthquake at around 1:30 pm today, ya that was me, the Fire-River Heart volcano just blew along with a primal scream.

So it’s now 7 pm ish and I’m writing this blog, and NO I still have not paid for my supplies. I fear for my computer it is the closest thing to whack, and now I’m in a whacking mood, the whole breathing and having patience thing is out the window for today.  I’ll leave it for another day when hopefully those naughty metaphorical Gods will be on my side.

 

HEALING through CEREMONY, healing, ceremony, healing ceremony, shamanism, past history, past relationship, pain, past relationship pain be gone, Michele fire-river heart, medicine woman, Gabriola island, British Columbia, Canada, focus, perspective, attention

Seeing is believing ….. Uh NOT!

So I know it’s been a looong looong time since my last post, and who knows how long it will be for another. However I was called to write this one so here it is.

Recently I have had 3 different experiences that brought home to me yet again, how my beliefs, expectations and assumptions colour my reality.

One was around how I coloured my world in regards to age. I have a close friend who is much younger than I am. They have a new partner and through their conversations with me about this new partner I had created a visual in my mind of what this partner would look like. So when I actually met this partner I was shocked that they were so young. Young in my mind was clearly about 20 years older than this person was. So how I coloured my world in regards to age was bam right in my face.

Another was in regards to not actually seeing what was right in front of me. I ‘read’ a name, my name I thought. However it was not my name, due to the cursive writing I had mistaken the first letter for an M which it was not. The next two letters of both names were the same and the last two letters of both names were the same but the rest were different. I didn’t actually read the name I had identified letters that were in my name and assumed the balance were accurate to my name ……. NOT! Now one might wonder how on earth someone could actually identify a different name as their own? Science however has actually proven humans tendency to do just this, we fill in what we expect from past experience whether it’s true or not. Hmmmm my bad, for not reading. Those of you who are ‘Why’ people here’s some research from Cambridge University: MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit.

Yet another one in the recent past was me assuming that something was a law when it wasn’t. Making me the ASSuming one, and costing me a bit of money.

All three different, all three enlightening me once again to take more care with my attention and where I put it. As you and I create our own worlds, it behoves us to take care with how we think, feel and act. Change any one of those and your world changes. How it changes is entirely up to you.

HEALING through CEREMONY, healing, ceremony, healing ceremony, shamanism, past history, past relationship, pain, past relationship pain be gone, Michele fire-river heart, medicine woman, Gabriola island, British Columbia, Canada

You’re in the drivers seat of your healing journey

For most of you getting into the driver seat of a car was a process. As children you were driven around by people, then you got to that magical age of being allowed to drive, you learnt to drive and now you are your own driver.

Your healing journey is much the same.
Stage One: an awareness that something needs to change
Stage Two: an awareness that healing has to happen in order for you to change
Stage Three: you are ready and willing to heal and change
Stage Four: you gain some knowledge that affords you the ability to heal and change
Stage Five: you apply that knowledge, resulting in a healing change happening.
Stage Six: increased freedom, increased self acceptance, increased self-esteem
Stage Seven: rinse and repeat Stage Five and Six.

You are in the drivers seat of Your own healing journey,
no matter what help you get along the way,
you are still the one
who has the power to change
or the power to stay the same.

What I have noticed is the universe supports the journey. Opportunities to heal any issue get presented to you, over and over and over again until you are complete with that particular issue and no longer need the opportunity to heal it. Even better is the fact that you will no longer be at the mercy of your past history and buttons in regard to that particular issue, even if you’re faced with that issue again there is no button left to be pushed. Once you set an intent to heal something, opportunities just arise that afford you the ability to fast track that healing and therefore change your life far more quickly than if you have no awareness and set no intent. What also tends to happen is when we ignore the opportunities, hehehe the universe ups the ante and the opportunities become harder and harder to ignore. Personally I have found that working with opportunities as quickly as I can, diminishes the fallout in my world that happens when I ignore them.

~ Less fall out
~ Less for me to clean up
~ A much shorter path to healing and change.

So, you can get drunk with your best friend and whine about why the latest relationship you’re in is so much like the last, or how you have discovered that this new partner has the same traits as a past one, but it just looked different so you didn’t see it at first. You can bemoan all the bad things your partner, your mother or other people ‘do to you’
OR
you can start to look at
~ why you feel that way
~ why you allow yourself to be put down
~ why you put yourself down
~ why you are often depressed
~ why you feel like shit
~ why you are waking up with a hangover yet again

OR you can choose to get in the drivers seat of your life
AND the healing journey that accompanies us all.
YES US ALL
None of us are free and clear of past baggage, habits, wounds,
it’s the quantity that varies
and how you deal with it when it surfaces
that changes how you experience your life.

You are doing the best in every moment even if it doesn’t look pretty,
but wouldn’t it be nice if it was easier,
if your life had less trauma and drama,
if you could wake up happy and go to bed happy?

It’s not a cake walk, but it is attainable.

You can release your past and heal,
without telling stories,
without floods of tears,
without it being work.

Healing ceremonies are powerful ancient tools that afford you this opportunity.

May your journey be powerful
May your heart be happy
May your healing be swift

Walk in Beauty

The Imaginings ~ Mayan Daykeeper Ahaw

 

 

Your interpretation and experience of these energies is your own. I can only share my personal understanding, I invite you to explore what they mean to you and their relevance in your life. This is really important. We gain nothing by ‘taking on’ others life experiences and beliefs. The juice and healing comes from within your own understanding, it is pivotal for your healing journey.

This 20 day cycle is completed today. Tomorrow brings a new cycle, what is to come? Animal Totems.

Mayan Daykeeper Ahaw ~ The essence of Ahaw is completion, culmination, realization, integration.

Ahaw may be experienced as a sense of completion.
This experience may include understanding
the causes and effects that led to this moment.
Ahaw offers the awareness of how completion
relates to the entire cycle of life.

Ahaw’s days are opportunities to see situations
as they fit into the bigger picture.
It is a good time to consider the necessity of certain events
and their involvement in something larger than their immediate effects.

People born on a Ahaw day are sensitive to the cycles of time
and respect the importance of being timely.
They naturally accept that everything plays a part
in something greater than itself.

This is an exerpt from
Mayan Calendar Voice of the Galaxy by Raymond Mardyks and Stacia Alana-Leah

Should you wish to know your Birth Daykeeper, Contact me with your birth date.

Previous Ahaw days this year Jan 3rd, 23rd, Feb 12th, March 4th, 24th, April 13th, May 3rd, 23rd, June 12th, July 2nd, 22nd, Aug 11th, 31st, Sept 20th

Balance with Grandmother Earth ~ Today’s Daykeeper is Manik

Your interpretation and experience is your own. I can only share my personal understanding, I invite you to find your own truths and their relevance in your life. This is really important. If something resonates great, if not chuck it out. We gain nothing by ‘taking on’ others life experiences and beliefs. The juice and healing comes from within your own understanding, it is pivotal for your healing journey and manifesting what you want.

On Sept 21st Mayan Daykeeper Imix brought us back to the beginning of a new cycle of 20 days. This cycle we are looking at creation through imagination. The relevant daily information on today’s Mayan Daykeeper is below todays musings.

We are creators of our lives, what we imagine we create.

We are looking at ‘The Twelve Imaginings’. The were given to Hyemeyohsts Storm by Estcheemah. She was a Zero Chief. Hyemeyohsts wrote these down in his book Lightningbolt. What is a Zero Chief? My understanding is the Zero chiefs were a secret group of people that keep the spiritual & healing knowledge of the Native Americans when it needed to go underground, to preserve it and keep it safe due to colonization. Now I could be wrong, but there it is, make of it what you will.

We will do an imagining a day for 2 days. On the third day I will add an imagining of my own. You are invited to add imaginings of  your own in the comments section on any day. On the 20th day of the cycle I will list all the imaginings that have been submitted.

I imagine that humans live in balance with Grandmother Earth ~ (Michele’s imagining)

I invite you to sit with this imagining, and see what it means to you.

Here’s some of what it means to me:
~ Earth’s human created wounds have healed
~ Resources are not owned
~ Food is grown in small communities
~ We take only what we need
~ Energy is self-sustaining
~ We are grateful for what Grandmother Earth provides

Earth, grandmother earth, food gardens, mayan, daykeeper, manik, evolution, growth, future, powerful, potential, accomplishment, healingthroughceremony.com, michele fire-River Heart, death, rebirth, past lifetimes

Mayan Daykeeper Manik ~ Manik’s essence is the connections between actions in the now affecting the future. The evolution & growth towards something greater.

Manik’s presence may be experienced as a connection to the future.
You may feel that what you are involved in
is leading to something bigger and better.

Manik’s day is good for preparing and being ready for what is still to come.
You may need to trust the process and wait a while longer
before realizing the outcome of your involvement and contribution.

Those born on a Manik day may experience
a sense of being important for the future,
being ahead of their time
or carrying something for future generations.

This is an exerpt from
Mayan Calendar Voice of the Galaxy by Raymond Mardyks and Stacia Alana-Leah

Should you wish to know your Birth Daykeeper, please contact me and send me your Birthday.

Previous Manik days this year Jan 10th, 30th, Feb 19th, March 11th, 31st, April 20th, May 10th, 30th, June 19th, July 9th, 29th, August 18th, Sept 7th

The Interconnection of Honesty & the Sacred Dream of Life ~ Today’s Daykeeper is Manik

Your interpretation and experience of these energies is your own. I can only share my personal understanding, I invite you to explore what they mean to you and their relevance in your life. This is really important. We gain nothing by ‘taking on’ others life experiences and beliefs. The juice and healing comes from within your own understanding, it is pivotal for your healing journey.

This cycle I am looking at the interconnection between The Twenty Great Teachers of Life and The Earth Count. Let’s see what their interconnection has to teach us. The relevant daily information on each energy is below todays musings.

The Interconnection of Honesty and your Sacred Dream of Life ~ Why is honesty important? How do you feel when you are dishonest, and when you are dishonest (face it we all are at some point) what bothers you the most? For me it is dishonesty to myself, for when I am dishonest with another, …………….. I am actually not being myself!  So hang in there don’t go to shame and blame, it is what it is, you’re doing the best in each moment even if it doesn’t look pretty.

When you are dishonest with yourself it impacts your dream of life. The dream of life is what you are creating in this lifetime. Think about who your closest friends are. What is different about your relationship with them? Often it is the fact that they know more about who you are and still want to be your friend, warts and all. The fact that you can be present in the relationship and not be dishonest, changes dramatically how you experience the relationship, and that feeling affects all aspects of your life. Now one addendum, if honesty is going to put you at risk, e.g. you have an abusive partner and need to escape. Being honest about leaving is not your safest course of action, so some discernment is required in my opinion.

So you may be thinking ‘Okay big deal honesty makes me feel better, but how does that actually change my dream of life?’ Everything is about energy, when you are dishonest you carry more baggage, which slows down your energy, keeps your mind busy with internal dialogue, distracts you from what you can do to increase the strength of your dream of life. Simply put, honesty with yourself brings freedom and allows for more time to create what you want.

great teachers, honesty, mayan, daykeeper, manik, evolution, growth, future, powerful, potential, accomplishment, healingthroughceremony.com, michele fire-River Heart, death, rebirth, past lifetimes

7 – The Seventh Great Teacher is Honesty
Honesty teaches us about the integrity of the dream and respect for the dreamtime

So the ‘Dream and Dreamtime’ is not referring to your sleeping dreams, but rather our dream of life. What we are creating as a life in this lifetime. How honest we are with ourselves directly affects what we are creating.

I remember when I realized that I had the ability to deceive myself. It was a pivotal moment in my healing, also not a very nice one. I was horrified, how could I trust myself, knowing that I could deceive myself and not be aware of it. I have come to realize that deceiving myself was a strategy for survival at the time, not one I need now (I think……, perhaps I have a surprise in store….) What I do find useful is to use it consciously as a strategy to accomplish something I still have fear around. So if something is too big right now, I pretend there is only the present moment ……..hahahaha I just stopped and had a really good laugh, tricked again. There IS only the present moment, my fear is about smoke and mirrors, vapours, the what if, might be, could be, futurizing thoughts. A lesson my teacher gave me 8 years ago …..’Stop futurizing!’ Alright changing gears, let’s see what pearls of wisdom I have now that the illusion just blew up.

Honesty ….. has brought me freedom, yes, freedom, freedom she’s droning on again about freedom. My past history was such, that to have the freedom that has come with my healing is such a huge gift, it is drone worthy. An addicts’ first need to be met, is their addiction, everything else is secondary, a fact that still makes me uncomfortable. With
that comes deceit, manipulation, dishonesty, shame and blame, and most of that, the addict rains on themselves. So being free of that kind of weight is amazing. Honesty frees up so much energy, it’s no wonder we feel lighter, better, when we’re honest than when we’re not. All those secrets you carry have a trail of energy sucking emotions, dragging along behind them like many, many balls and chains.

I invite you to make a stick figure graphic of yourself and add a ball and chain for every secret you are carrying. What does that look like? Is there one that are you ready to let go of, and is it safe to do so? Now I’m not referring to secrets that are keeping you safe from harm, unfortunately, sometimes it is appropriate to keep a secret. I’m talking about the other ones, the ones that can be let go and your life will get infinitely better. If you choose to let go of a secret, ensure you have the appropriate supports in place. Be it a friend, teacher, coach, counsellor, doctor, psychiatrist, therapist, well you get the idea. May your secrets diminish, may your freedom increase.

7 – The Seven ~ The SEVEN is the Number of the DREAM OF LIFE
The SEVEN is the Number of the DREAM OF LIFE, for all things that are made within Beauty, or that are Broken and thrown away. We look into our Past and learn of what we have built.
Come, Children, and Build your World Dance.
(Hyemeyohsts Storm’s Earth Count)

7 – Mayan Daykeeper Manik ~ Manik’s essence is the connections between actions in the now affecting the future. The evolution & growth towards something greater.

Manik’s presence may be experienced as a connection to the future.
You may feel that what you are involved in
is leading to something bigger and better.

Manik’s day is good for preparing and being ready for what is still to come.
You may need to trust the process and wait a while longer
before realizing the outcome of your involvement and contribution.

Those born on a Manik day may experience
a sense of being important for the future,
being ahead of their time
or carrying something for future generations.

This is an exerpt from
Mayan Calendar Voice of the Galaxy by Raymond Mardyks and Stacia Alana-Leah

Should you wish to know your Birth Daykeeper, please contact me and send me your Birthday.

Previous Manik days this year Jan 10th, 30th, Feb 19th, March 11th, 31st, April 20th, May 10th, 30th, June 19th, July 9th, 29th, August 18th

Honesty as a Teacher ~ Sacred Dream of Life ~ Mayan Daykeeper Manik

Your interpretation and experience of this teacher is your own. I can only share my personal understanding, I invite you to explore what this teacher means to you and the lessons it has brought you thus far. This is really important. We gain nothing by ‘taking on’ others life experiences. The juice and healing comes from within your own paradigm, it is pivotal for your healing journey.

7 – The Seventh Great Teacher is Honesty
Honesty teaches us about the integrity of the dream and respect for the dreamtime

So the ‘Dream and Dreamtime’ is not referring to your sleeping dreams, but rather your dream of life. What you are creating as a life in this lifetime. How honest you are with yourself directly affects what you are creating.

How honest are you with yourself?
How honest are you with others?
How does this affect your life?
Looking at past history how has honesty or dishonesty with yourself or others, shaped what you manifested in the future?
How important do you think honesty with yourself is, in creating your life?

Great Teachers, Honesty, mayan, daykeeper, manik, evolution, growth, future, powerful, potential, accomplishment, healingthroughceremony.com, michele fire-River Heart, death, rebirth, past lifetimes

7 – The Seven ~ The SEVEN is the Number of the DREAM OF LIFE
The SEVEN is the Number of the DREAM OF LIFE, for all things that are made within Beauty, or that are Broken and thrown away. We look into our Past and learn of what we have built.
Come, Children, and Build your World Dance.
(Hyemeyohsts Storm’s Earth Count)

7 – Mayan Daykeeper Manik ~ Manik’s essence is the connections between actions in the now affecting the future. The evolution & growth towards something greater.

Manik’s presence may be experienced as a connection to the future.
You may feel that what you are involved in
is leading to something bigger and better.

Manik’s day is good for preparing and being ready for what is still to come.
You may need to trust the process and wait a while longer
before realizing the outcome of your involvement and contribution.

Those born on a Manik day may experience
a sense of being important for the future,
being ahead of their time
or carrying something for future generations.

This is an exerpt from
Mayan Calendar Voice of the Galaxy by Raymond Mardyks and Stacia Alana-Leah

Should you wish to know your Birth Daykeeper, please contact me and send me your Birthday.

Previous Manik days this year Jan 10th, 30th, Feb 19th, March 11th, 31st, April 20th, May 10th, 30th, June 19th, July 9th, 29th

The Teacher of Honesty ~ Sacred Dream of Life ~ Mayan Daykeeper Manik

Your interpretation and experience of this teacher is your own. I can only share my personal understanding, I invite you to explore what this teacher means to you and the lessons it has brought you thus far. This is really important. We gain nothing by ‘taking on’ others life experiences. The juice and healing comes from within your own paradigm, it is pivotal for your healing journey.

7 – The Seventh Great Teacher is Honesty
Honesty teaches us about the integrity of the dream and respect for the dreamtime

So the ‘Dream and Dreamtime’ is not referring to your sleeping dreams, but rather our dream of life. What we are creating as a life in this lifetime. How honest we are with ourselves directly affects what we are creating.

I remember when I realized that I had the ability to deceive myself. It was a pivotal moment in my healing, also not a very nice one. I was horrified, how could I trust myself, knowing that I could deceive myself and not be aware of it. I have come to realize that deceiving myself was a strategy for survival at the time, not one I need now (I think……, perhaps I have a surprise in store….) What I do find useful is to use it consciously as a strategy to accomplish something I still have fear around. So if something is too big right now, I pretend there is only the present moment ……..hahahaha I just stopped and had a really good laugh, tricked again. There IS only the present moment, my fear is about smoke and mirrors, vapours, the what if, might be, could be, futurizing thoughts. A lesson my teacher gave me 8 years ago …..’Stop futurizing!’ Alright changing gears, let’s see what pearls of wisdom I have now that the illusion just blew up.

Honesty ….. has brought me freedom, yes, freedom, freedom she’s droning on again about freedom. My past history was such, that to have the freedom that has come with my healing is such a huge gift, it is drone worthy. An addicts’ first need to be met, is their addiction, everything else is secondary, a fact that still makes me uncomfortable. With great teachers, honesty, mayan, daykeeper, manik, evolution, growth, future, powerful, potential, accomplishment, healingthroughceremony.com, michele fire-River Heart, death, rebirth, past lifetimesthat comes deceit, manipulation, dishonesty, shame and blame, and most of that, the addict rains on themselves. So being free of that kind of weight is amazing. Honesty frees up so much energy, it’s no wonder we feel lighter, better, when we’re honest than when we’re not. All those secrets you carry have a trail of energy sucking emotions, dragging along behind them like many, many balls and chains.

I invite you to make a stick figure graphic of yourself and add a ball and chain for every secret you are carrying. What does that look like? Is there one that are you ready to let go of, and is it safe to do so? Now I’m not referring to secrets that are keeping you safe from harm, unfortunately, sometimes it is appropriate to keep a secret. I’m talking about the other ones, the ones that can be let go and your life will get infinitely better. If you choose to let go of a secret, ensure you have the appropriate supports in place. Be it a friend, teacher, coach, counsellor, doctor, psychiatrist, therapist, well you get the idea. May your secrets diminish, may your freedom increase.

Great Teachers, Honesty, mayan, daykeeper, manik, evolution, growth, future, powerful, potential, accomplishment, healingthroughceremony.com, michele fire-River Heart, death, rebirth, past lifetimes

7 – The Seven ~ The SEVEN is the Number of the DREAM OF LIFE
The SEVEN is the Number of the DREAM OF LIFE, for all things that are made within Beauty, or that are Broken and thrown away. We look into our Past and learn of what we have built.
Come, Children, and Build your World Dance.
(Hyemeyohsts Storm’s Earth Count)

7 – Mayan Daykeeper Manik ~ Manik’s essence is the connections between actions in the now affecting the future. The evolution & growth towards something greater.

Manik’s presence may be experienced as a connection to the future.
You may feel that what you are involved in
is leading to something bigger and better.

Manik’s day is good for preparing and being ready for what is still to come.
You may need to trust the process and wait a while longer
before realizing the outcome of your involvement and contribution.

Those born on a Manik day may experience
a sense of being important for the future,
being ahead of their time
or carrying something for future generations.

This is an exerpt from
Mayan Calendar Voice of the Galaxy by Raymond Mardyks and Stacia Alana-Leah

Should you wish to know your Birth Daykeeper, please contact me and send me your Birthday.

Previous Manik days this year Jan 10th, 30th, Feb 19th, March 11th, 31st, April 20th, May 10th, 30th, June 19th, July 9th

Manik is here today (Mayan Daykeeper)

Manik’s essence is the connections between actions in the now affecting the future. The evolution & growth towards something greater.

7 – Manik    and   7 – Dream of Life: the manifestation of our life that we create in this lifetime, with the knowledge of other lifetimes (Hyemeyohsts Storm’s Earth Count)

So the dream of life is looking from the perspective of your spirit/dreamer/higher self/soul/fill in your belief. What are you creating in this lifetime using the knowledge and experience of other lifetimes. You may not consciously remember other lifetimes, but your higher self does. So by listening to your higher self & learning from your past experiences in this one, you are always at choice to choose what you create.

mayan, daykeeper, manik, evolution, growth, future, powerful, potential, accomplishment, healingthroughceremony.com, michele fire-River Heart, death, rebirth, past lifetimes

If you have been following my blog the information below is a repeat. Previous Manik days this year Jan 10th, 30th, Feb 19th, March 11th, 31st, April 20th, May 10th, 30th, June 19th 

Should you wish to know your Birth Daykeeper, send me an email with your date of birth, including the year. michele.fireriverheart@gmail.com

Manik’s presence may be experienced as a connection to the future.
You may feel that what you are involved in
is leading to something bigger and better.

Manik’s day is good for preparing and being ready for what is still to come.
You may need to trust the process and wait a while longer
before realizing the outcome of your involvement and contribution.

Those born on a Manik day may experience
a sense of being important for the future,
being ahead of their time
or carrying something for future generations.

This is an exerpt from
Mayan Calendar Voice of the Galaxy by Raymond Mardyks and Stacia Alana-Leah