My peyote healing

We sit in a teepee.

It’s moist and chilly. I had to drive down the mountain from the coast at 4 a.m. this morning so I could meet the elders as they broke for their morning fast.

At 5 a.m., they opened the teepee flap and Native Americans emerged. They all wore jeans and t-shirts (mostly). I felt my preconceptions crack.

I’m at my aunt’s house sipping badly flavored vanilla coffee before dawn and I’ve just been diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer a few days before, and I’m watching a bunch of Indians groggily exit a two-story-tall teepee on the edge of her property. Sur. Real.

It’s only been a week since my doctor called with those words you never want to hear: It’s cancer.

No, really, stop, I’m only 43. This isn’t supposed to happen for another 30 years. I’m right in the middle of shit. I have two kids in grade school. You can’t be serious.

And now, the sun has just woken and I’m entering a tent overfull with men, women, and kids who’ve all been awake all night — healing, connecting, and doing something I can’t put my finger on. Frankly, I’m too aware of myself to see what’s really going on. I’m a foreign intruder with my old aunt, mom, and uncle in tow, all entering someone else’s sacred circle because we own their land. How can it get worse? Which means in my heart, I’m feeling it’s still all about me, although soon it will be all about them and I will just have to catch up to that.

My aunt bought her house on what she discovered was Native American land — traditional land for celebrating and connecting. Years ago, some tribespeople approached her and asked if they could still celebrate on her land. Of course, yes (embarrassed that I own your land). So every month or two, a big teepee and picnic tables and Porta Potties appear, and an all-night ritual commences to connect us to the stars.

My aunt was blessed, right?

She called the tribe when she learned I was diagnosed. They said yes we’ll take your niece. Come before dawn.

 

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How to know what your doctor really thinks of you

I was with my radiation oncologist a few months ago as he examined me.

“Oh,” he says as he flips through some papers. “You’re fine. You’re not like some other people.”

I thought to myself, “Egads, what other people, and what’s wrong with them?!”

And it occurred to me, too, that you don’t really want an oncologist who’s dismissive of you.

Or do you?

I call what happened with Dr. L an “intuitive slip.” I can tell when someone is letting information pass through them. It’s an offhand remark, a casual observation they didn’t know they even spoke aloud. One of my other doctors does it too, and she also doesn’t know she does it. Nor will I ever tell her. (She’d be horrified.)

But this is one of the biggest reasons why I chose them both: they’re in touch with their guidance. It doesn’t matter if they’re traditional medicine or alternative: each follows his or her hunches. I want people like that on my team.

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The muse is strong around you, Padawan

As I’m lying on the massage table, the woman who treats my lymphedema each week leans down and whispers to me, “The muse is strong around you right now.”

I immediately think “the Force” and then remind myself I’m not a Jedi.

It’s the writing muse, she tells me. And Susan is pretty good at this. She maneuvers the lymph out of my arm every Thursday, and she slips in whatever else I need to know as I’m lying face down in the hospital room on the papery sticky table.

Sometimes she sings to me while she works. Sometimes she does myofascial release, which basically means she grabs two parts of my skin and stretches it as far as it will go.

I think about why I’m going to see her every week, and part of me knows that, while yeah, I’m keeping my lymph moving and my arm from swelling, I also just want to see what else might happen.

Sometimes she gets an intuitive message for me. Sometimes I get a message for her. We swap hits and guesses. We talk politics, and about family. And then maybe she’ll touch part of me gently and ask if this is the part that’s holding fear.

“Yes,” I gulp. And then we both think about what it would be like if that part of me had no more fear.

Susan is not in your normal demographic. She wears her hair long, straight, and gray, cusses like a sailor, slips around the massage table in her granny pants and tennis shoes, is one of about ten children, and is easily twenty years my senior. She is perfect and right in every way.

She’s perfect because she really doesn’t care if other people get her or not. This is why she’s a soul sister. I don’t need other people to get me either, or at least, not as much as I used to need it.

I’m thinking about just how awesome it is to be freed from What People Think.

We live in boxes — boxes that shape the walls of our houses, and boxes that shape the walls of our minds. The most evil boxes are the ones that shape the walls of our expectations.

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Made up words, or snow floating on water

Another sleepless night in 2016 had me up researching the actual 50 words Inuits (Eskimos) use for “snow.”

Such as:

natquik — drifting snow

muruaneq — soft deep snow

And my favorite, qanisqineq — snow floating on water.

I began thinking about new words that have crept in my vocabulary over the last few years, taking up their positions on my head so I can describe a new emotion or way of being that I didn’t have words for before.

There’s “pre-act” (v.) and “pre-action” (n.) as well as “pre-spond” (v.) and “pre-sponse” (n.).

These embody the idea that we can have either a reaction and pre-action at any given time.

A reaction is when you respond to what has already occurred. A pre-action is when you pre-spond to what is yet to occur. In other words, you feel an emotion toward something that has yet to occur.

We manifestors spend a lot of time in pre-action and pre-sponse, since that is what cues us in that we’re in creation mode instead of reaction mode. Pre-acting means we’re actively describing the parameters of what we intend to have happen next to the Universe. These words are embedded in every Flowdreamer’s vocabulary.

Here’s another word; “head scraping.”

I may have coined this unsexy little jobber, but it’s my mother, Venus, who usually actually does the head-scraping. (Nope, it’s not a head rub. She does it with her mind.)

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IDGAF

I know I’m pretty much useless when, instead of getting work done, I’m folding clothes.

It’s 11 a.m. and my workday should be in full swing. But I work from home, and so instead I’m folding laundry and checking my emails every five minutes looking for something exciting. Nothing exciting comes in.

I spot the stack of old financial papers that need shredding. I’ve let them languish by the shredder for months. Yes, months. I know something is really awry because now pulverizing that stack through the shredder is looking really good and I spend the next hour doing it.

Hello, Rebellion. How are you today?

“I don’t want to! You can’t make me. I don’t care if I should. No.”

My name is No . . . my sign is No.

A Types, overachievers, controllers, and those of us who generally Get Shit Done know this feeling and it scares the heck out of us. It’s called IDGAF. (You can work that acronym out.)

IDGAF is your inner rebel, telling you she needs a break. Give her one. What’s so hard about that?

Oh, I know what’s hard: you’re going to lose control of your life for five or ten minutes, or maybe even half a day. Or if you really slack, maybe even . . . a week. And if you’re really, really screwed — a month. And of course the ultimate freak: forever.  You’ll be in IDGAF forever.

Because what if you never find your way out of IDGAF? What if you stop earning your income? What if your marriage that you’ve been propping up suddenly bores you? What if you stop to relax for one bald second and discover that you’re running on fumes and those fumes felt so real that you lived off them for ages?

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