Yogi Tea

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Yogi Tea – Good for Body and Soul

Ingredients:

  • 14 cups water
  • 42 cloves
  • 40-50 green cardamom pods (cracked)
  • 56 whole black peppercorns
  • 8 cinnamon sticks
  • 14 slices of ginger root
  • 2 black tea bags
  • 4 cups vanilla flavoured, unsweetened, almond beverage

Directions:

Add all ingedients to a large, covered pot.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for up to 2 hours.

Add two black tea bags. Bring back to a boil for 2 minutes. Remove tea bags.

Add almond beverage.  Bring back to a boil then remove from stove immediately. Strain and enjoy.

Unused portions may be stored in refrigerator for up to one week.

May be enjoyed as ice tea or reheated if preferred.

How it Begins

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iWendy, am about to take a journey….this is my very first post.

Thank you Star Horn, Mohawk Artist and friend, for the beautiful artwork gracing my blog (http://starhorn.ca/).

Note to Readers: Please note that the blog entries appear in the order in which they occur in my life. I am recounting what it has been like to live a life with chronic pain and PTSD, and I back date the entries to the approximate time period or event that they reflect. Therefore, the last blog entry is not always the most recent one. This blog is best read by going to the various categories and reading from the earliest to the latest entries. This does not mean that you can’t pop in anywhere of course, as each blog entry is independent of the other. Thank you for visiting my blog. Perhaps it will reflect in some way some of your own struggles, hopes, and dreams.

 

Giving a Voice to the Pain – Introduction (September 2016)

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These blog entries provide recollections from 20 years of living with chronic pain and many more years of living with PTSD.

I began writing only recently in an attempt to give a voice to the chronic pain and to the trauma of PTSD. The writing started as a creative project during a “Mindfulness For Pain Management” course in which we were asked to express our pain either through a picture or through the written word. I chose to write.

I selected one hour out of my 20 years in chronic pain and attempted to convey, in words, what it really means to live in pain, day by day, hour by hour, month by month, year by year.

I shared my writing with my classmates and discovered that the writing and the sharing was therapeutic – for me and for them. It provided a voice that said what they all wanted to say but couldn’t find the words to say it.

I decided that I would continue to write and continue to share with any and all of you who are suffering from chronic pain, or PTSD, and who are trying to find a way to voice it.

The writings are primarily stream of consciousness, during which I place myself back in time and into those moments that are representative of my life. They are voiced in a way that bares the heart and soul, leaving one vulnerable. They are meant to be read in the same voice.

Although not cheerful subjects, there will be moments to uplift.  After all, 20 years in pain, and many more years living with PTSD, and I am still here and life still has value.

Regarding the PTSD, I live, now, with greatly reduced symptoms thanks, in large part, to about four years of psychotherapy and courses on anxiety and depression and mindfulness.  There is, overall, less anxiety and depression and there are fewer, and less severe, panic attacks.  In some ways, I am doing much better, although the pain seems to be spreading throughout my body and I do not get a lot of relief these days.  And, yes, I plan to share the pain, but I also look forward to sharing how much a life can improve when one seeks, and is lucky enough to find, the help needed.

Thank you for visiting with me today. Share your thoughts if you wish.  And come back again any time. I’d love to share my journey with you.

Zippy Zucchini Soup

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Fresh From the Garden

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (first cold pressed)
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2″ ginger root, minced
  • 1″ turmeric root, minced
  • 8 small to medium Zucchini, with skin, chopped
  • 2 large red skin potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock (low sodium or no sodium)
  • 1 cup whole milk (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp dill weed
  • Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, saute onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric until almost browned.  Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Blend with hand blender until creamy. Serve with sliced almonds as garnish.

Unused portion may be frozen in serving-sized bowls.

Tomato Basil Soup

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Whetting My Appetite

I often double, triple, or even quadruple the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs very ripe tomatoes, quartered and diced
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, cored and diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced and diced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1″ ginger root, minced
  • 1″ turmeric root, minced
  • Leaves from 2 thyme sprigs
  • 16 leaves of basil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in large soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximtely 30-40 minutes. Blend with hand blender until creamy. Enjoy.

Unused portion may be frozen in serving-sized containers.

Gluten Free Rhubarb Coffee Cake

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From the Rhubarb Patch to the Tummy

I use organic ingredients where possible.

This tasted better with each day that passed.

  • 1/2 cup expeller pressed premium liquid coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbspns tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbspns cinnamon
  • 2 cups finely chopped rhubarb

Topping

  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbspn brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbspn expeller pressed premium liquid coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or 325 degrees if using convection).

In a large mixing bowl, cream coconut oil and coconut sugar together. Beat in eggs. Stir in sour cream and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix brown rice flour, almond flour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, baking soda and cinnamon.

Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Stir in rhubarb. Turn into greased 9 x 13-inch pan.

In a separate bowl, mix topping ingredients together until crumbly and sprinkle over top.

Bake 30-40 minutes.

Cool.  Store unused portion in fridge.

I am My Body, My Body is Me

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I Am My Body,
My Body is Me

Perthmore, March 19, 2017

So often,
Too often,
A line is drawn.

The body
On one side.

The mind,
The emotions,
The psyche,
The soul,
On the other.

Illness comes.

For me:
Chronic pain.

For others,
An endless list:
Physical,
Mental,
Emotional,
Spiritual,
Illness…
And pain.

Battle lines
Are drawn.

The body cries out:
Why,
Oh why,
Have you done this
To me?

The mind cries back:
But it is you,
It is you
Who have done it
To me.

It becomes a fight.
The mind fighting
The body.
The body the mind.

Waging war,
Doing battle,

Day in,
Day out.

Night,
After very long night.

And we forget.

We forget
That mind and body
Are one.

There is no divide.

What happens
In the mind,
So happens
In the body.

What happens
In the body,
So happens
In the mind.

The only betrayal,
Perhaps,
Is that
Betrayal
Of ourselves
To ourselves.

Not a betrayal
Of mind on body,
Or body on mind.

But the betrayal
When we forget
To listen
To the body,
Its whispers,
And its screams.

Illness comes,
Perhaps even slightly benign,
At first.
We push through.
We dominate.
Relentless
And unforgiving.

We forget to listen.
We forget to care.
For this,
Our body,
The only body
We have.

We wear it down.
We wear it out.

The pain persists.
We still push on.

The pain worsens
We still push on.

The pain dominates.
We still push on.

Then the lamentation:
Mind to Body:
Why,
Oh why,
Have you done this
To me?

If only
We had listened,
Listened:
To those Whispers.
Listened:
To the whispers become screams.

If only,
We had cared for
That body.

The body
That houses
The mind,
The soul,
The essence
Of the being
That we are
And without which
We cannot exist
On this earth.

If only,
We had:
Walked together,
Mind and body,
Body and mind,
Through this wilderness
Of life.
Through its beauty,
And its darkness.
To come out,
Together,
At the end,
As one:
One body,
Mind,
Soul,
And psyche.

So,
For those who engage
Daily,
Nightly,
In this fight,
In this battle,
Step back.

Step back,
From that line.

Look into body,
And soul.

Look deeply,
And remember,
To care
For your own self,
For your own body,
Mind, psyche, and soul,
With all the love,
All the compassion,
All the tenderness,
That you hold
In your hearts,
And minds,
For others.

For the children,
The poor,
The downtrodden,
The suffering,
All the vulnerable creatures,
Large,
And small.

Care for your own child,
Your own vulnerable child within,
As you would
For the vulnerable child without.

Who else will care
If you don’t?

Who else is there
Who can listen to,
Who can hear,
The whispers?

Who else is there
Who can listen to,
Who can hear,
The screams?

A Blink and A Snap

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A Blink and a Snap
Perthmore, February 2017

A blink of the eye,
A season gone by.
A snap of the finger,
Another.

A blink and a snap,
A snap and a blink,
A year we cannot
Recover.

We live in the past.
We ponder and brood
How different
Our lives could have been.
Rehashing,
Reworking,
Refitting,
Remorsing.
Regretting the things
That we did.

We live for tomorrow.
We vision and plan
All the things
We have yet to do.
We live there
In dreamland,
Oh bright coloured lights,
Oh fantasy,
Sparkling,
And new.

But the Past
Is the Past.
It’s no longer,
It’s gone,
Cannot be retouched
Or reclaimed.

The future-
Well it
Simply does not exist.
It is always
A moment away.

There is only
One thing
We can touch,
And can feel.
We can see,
We can breathe,
We can be in.

The here
And the now
Learn to seize it
Dear friend
For it’s all,
In truth,
That there is.

A Farewell to Psychotherapy

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A Farewell to Psychotherapy
Perthmore 2017

On my own again.
Better armed,
It’s true,
Than I ever was before.

Thought I’d be the one
To decide
On the coming,
And the going.

Didn’t take advantage
Quite as much
As I should have.
Too late now.
Find another way.
Or, maybe,
Do it on my own.

I did it on my own,
Before.
I can do it on my own,
Again.
Better armed
Than I ever was before.

Still a lot
I can’t get down to,
Deep in the soul
Of regrets,
And hopes,
And fears.

There is,
After all,
Only so naked
One can get,
Baring the heart
The soul,
The mind,
The inner self,
The fearful self,
The anxious self,
The shameful self.

Too hard to go there
All the way,
In the light of day,
Or even
In the dark of night.

Things one
Doesn’t want to own.
Bring them
To the grave
Let them drift away
In the dust,
And in the dirt.

From the prison
Of the soul,
Let them drift away.
Or carry them,
Forever,
In the darkness,
In the ever after
Darkness,
Of the soul.

Glad to be Alive

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Glad to be Alive
Perthmore, February 2016

I am here,
Now,
In this moment.

Walking,
With my dog.
On this
Most beautiful
Of days.

A hint
Of sunshine
To warm me.
Cool breeze
Upon my cheeks.
Only occasional stops,
Today,
For the pain.

And I am glad,
So very glad,
To be alive.

And on we walk.
The pain deepens.
I lose my focus,
My connection.
And I stop.

I stop.
I rest.
I remember,
For a moment,
That I am glad,
So glad,
To be alive.

Even as I fight,
Through the pain.
Push,
Through the pain.
Distracted,
By the pain.
Focus gone.
Even then,
I still walk on.

And I remind myself
To try,
To at least try
To remember,
To try,
To at least try
To be glad,
To be alive.