It’s the patriarchy

It’s the patriarchy

Look out girls

It’s the patriarchy

Here to get their thrills.

*

They don’t care

About their violent past

Boys will be boys

Women always coming last.

*

It’s the patriarchy

Look out girls

It’s the patriarchy

Here to get their thrills.

*

It’s the patriarchy

White old men think they suffer

While we burn and bleed

They yell and scream, “crush her!”.

*

It’s the patriarchy

Look out girls

It’s the patriarchy

Here to get their thrills.

*

It’s the patriarchy

Watch the evil white men cry

Don’t let them down now

Brush away the pain, whitewash the lie.

*

It’s the patriarchy

Look out girls

It’s the patriarchy

Here to get their thrills.

 

I don’t want

*
I don’t want
this time to slip by
While you posture and postulate.
*
I don’t want
to feel this way
Full of anger, and full of hate.
*
And there you are
Saying women delay telling
And therefore it must be a lie.
*
I don’t want to tell my story
‘Cause you don’t believe hers
Far too often, all I did was cry.
*
I am done, I won’t cry anymore
Out of fear and out of agony
I will cry out the anger, again.
*
The world don’t need
Your same old thing
Spewing out, like a never ending rain.
*
I don’t want to remind you
What you say matters
There will be consequences
*
I don’t want to divide us
Yet, too much suffering
It’s building dividing fences.

 

Of peace, war, fear, terror, and love

When I was a small child

and the bombs were flying and falling and bursting

I was not afraid.

That was, afterall, so far away

Also, my uncle was there

Dropping supplies from planes in Vietnam

And taking care of the world.

*

I grew up and was not afraid of the state of the world

I was too self involved

Until in high school, as we studied history, I began to see the reality of man.  I watched The Day After on TV, along with 100 million other people. Now I was afraid, for years to come I was terrified of nuclear war, and I would read about the what-if’s and the certain devastation. When the wall fell, well, those thoughts seemed to fall away a bit with that wall, torn apart by human hands. *After I graduated college,A certain President began the first middle east war, that I saw live on TV I would get drunk and high and try to understand itUntil I wrapped myself up in a ball of anxiety and fear”I will never bring children into a hate filled world”, where money and oil and consumerism fill our sad lives. He agreed with me. *And things escalate again some years later, they continue on, the things man does to manOklahoma bombings, 9-11, Iraq, AfghanistanSomewhere though along the way, I did want children, he did want childrenA family, to move toward peace, to share moments of joy, to create a new world. Children, the hope for a different future…. we can do this. *I shelter you now, your young brains, You know just a bit about the bombings, the killings, the shootingsYou hear on the radio and sometimes you see me cryBut you don’t watch, you never watch, you don’t see those imagesI take you to yoga, and pray for peace, and hold you tightly each nightOur own peaceful universe, one moment to the next. *I try not to worry, worry about you and the futureWorry about the world I will leave behind someday, for you to somehow manageI teach you about peace, and ease; I say these  words, spread that love, joy, friendship each dayWe are all just one familyAnd my faith in your prevails, to bring forth the peace and light into the world. There is no more choice to be afraid.

 

Why Don’t You?

Why don’t you sit by the fire

Put your feet up

Sip some tea

And color in your coloring book?

*

You need these moments to renew,

To revive your weary mind

To be here right now

And let go of what should be left behind.

*

Why don’t you breathe in

This very moment… and the next and the next

As you stretch up from your yoga mat

Reaching for the stars in the heavens.

*

You need to feel your body here

Noticing each breath and pause

Caring for the aches and pains

And embracing your human strength and limitations.

*

Why don’t you just notice

The little beings surrounding you

Children, cats, dogs, even the house mice

Vying for your eyes upon them.

*

Waking up, noticing, being here now

Will repair your brain circuits

Supporting healing from the trauma

That everyday stress brings to you.

*

Why don’t you just be

Relax, revive, regenerate, renew your soul- being

Breathe, live in this moment, let go…

Why don’t you?

 

Untethered

I was standing in the tower

In the place of the mountain

City by the beautiful bay

Looking out into the darkness

I was so untethered there

That all I could do was think of you

And dream you into my life.

The next day I ran

I ran and ran along the sea

Through the fog

And up to the crest of the 1000 foot mountain

Overlooking the churning deep blue sea.

I was afraid to go closer

Closer to the edge, because part of me was there already

Sitting on the edge of that high seaside mountain

Thinking of flying off, and not flying off.

To fly and really feel how untethered to this world I was

Or to sit back down on the earth

And go back to dreaming of a weight, weight to hold me here.

The depth of emptiness, loneliness at that time

Is hard, and yet not hard at all, to recall and I am not quite sure

What pulled me through, why I did not fly those days on the mountain

There must have been the dreams I still had

Of one day, a family, one day a tethering to this world.

For me it did come, the bracing to life, but it was a long journey back

One I still walk each day, as I examine the fragile tethering that holds me

And if you are felling untethered, I would like to say hold on

Healing is possible, reach out for this line

That I am tossing to you now

I will be your tether whenever, however I can

I’ll hold you in this space on earth.

 

 

Attachment

I know you

My addiction, my attachment

Even though I left you behind

Now some years ago

You emerge in my dreams.

Sometimes I startle back to consciousness

And I think

No, I can’t go back to that.

And some waking days I think of you

Or long for what you did for me

And I can smell you and see you there

I can feel the craving so deep

I want you.

I want to drink you, eat you, consume you, purge you.

But I did not work this hard

Come this far

To find myself sitting down there

With you, miserable after the pleasure and pain.

My attachment, though I have left you behind

Not to worry, you are still here

Reminding me, again and again

Every day a new opportunity to release you anew.

 

 

The child’s dark room

The box shaped room, it was so dark and empty

And yet the little girl went there day after day

Into that empty cold space of nothingness

And this is where she began to pray.

~

Dear God she would mumble

Please come and be with here with me

And she would cry while waiting

Wondering what she might see.

~

She had dreams of pink fairies, sweet lemonade

Contrasting frosty grey clouds with yellow sunny days

Green forests and emerald filled oceans

Her mind would journey in so many different ways.

~

The loneliness remained in the room, pervasive and real

And the girl how she suffered, sometimes withdrew

To question her existence, the gaping abyss

A child alone, loneliness being what she knew.

~

Though this time was quite painful

Seemingly an infinity, so disturbing and long

It was needed for her growth and change

It was the secret ingredient to her emerging song.

~

Don’t give in my dear lonely and lost children

Stuck in your empty, cold dark rooms

Don’t buy into the idea of the infinity of abyss

Don’t think of this as your own tomb.

~

I promise you now, if you can breathe and still learn

To sit, to be, to have infinite trust

That this deep darkness around you will pass

And into a life of light you will be thrust.

We need a world of peace

We need a world of peace

Of connection

Of understanding that

We are one

~

We need a world of love

Where people reach out

To one another

With full and open hearts

~

Everybody must be taught

To acknowledge the differences

Release the sufering

Accept life deeply

~

We need God’s love

Open your heart

Feel it here now

Full of healing light

~

We have the capacity

For this love and light filled world

Surround us in the light

Fill this world with peace.

~

Boston, April 15, 2012.

Sorrow Runs Into Joy

Sorrow runs into joy

And the world turns upside down

When the young soul leaves the body

Seemingly before his turn was done

*

Love falls into heartache

When all new hopes are dashed

When the smallest hand to grip

Is taken from us far too fast

*

Hope jumps over despair

When we reach out to others’ hearts

And step deep in there with them

The murky storm of life

*

The yin, the yang of life and love

so hard to understand

Where life abounds so clearly

Then death she closes in

*

Sorrow, she slams into joy

And breaks apart the soul

Into a million fragmented pieces

Reflecting the universe in every shard.

EMDR: Bilateral stimulation for healing

Usually I write poetry or “whatever” passes for it here. And I find the process of writing and sharing very healing.

Just like all human beings, I am on a continual healing journey. As we heal, we grow to know ourselves and our worlds better. Over the last 9 months or so I have been in therapy to help me deal with anxiety. While in the past I may have had mild bouts of depression that I managed with exercise and yoga, about 2.5 years ago, my anxiety escalated to the point where my usual tools were not working. I could run 5 to 7 miles 5 times/ week, go to yoga several times/ week, try to meditate and I was constantly on the verge of tears, angry with my kids, losing weight, and living with a feeling of dread about the present and the future.

I found a therapist who worked with Buddhist psychology techniques… it was awesome, but not enough, and my nurse practitioner started me on zoloft. I was facing major life changes with moving across the country, starting a new job, raising my 2 and 4 year old daughters… and also I think now in retrospect dealing with the trauma with a near death car accident on the 101 outside of San Francisco. Though the accident happened one year prior to the onset of the continual anxiety, the impact I felt was truly physical in nature a full year later. I was still suffering near constant lumbar-thoracic back pain, not sleeping well, and constantly worried about my children (who were in the car at the time of the accident, but emerged apparently unscathed).

The zoloft helped for awhile. Especially when I first started the medicine, I felt like a “nearly normal person”. I remember even thinking, oh yes, this is what it feels like to feel normal; conversely, I also thought, so maybe there is something really, really wrong with me that I need a medication to feel what it feels like to be normal. And then I thought, well perhaps my serotonin is just absent, missing in action. And at one point I had a panic attack about 2 months after starting the lowest dose of the medication and I progressed to a slightly higher dose. I made the move across the country, and left my therapist. I started to see a more generic therapist after the move, and it was useless: I was doing everything right and none of it mattered. I was at the bottom of the wheel and wallowing in it big time, my amygdala firing, waking up with anxiety before the alarm went off, before my feet could even touch the earth each morning my stomach was in a pit and I was worrying about what I had forgotten to do.

Perhaps a year or so after starting the medication, I was anxious all of the time again anyway. At two years on the medication, I realized from talking to a friend who was also on the medication, that I was both numbed to my feelings, but also still very anxious. We were driving to a professional conference and I would literally yelp out when I perceived any danger in the driving situation. I decided it was time to come of the medication and find out what was really going on with my brain and my emotions. I also had to cut a family trip short because I did not have enough medication with me to stay longer and the withdrawal process from zoloft can be physically taxing and dangerous. Though I was only on 50 mg of zoloft, I started a very slow weaning process over about two months until I was free of the medication. I had several brain zaps, where the brain feels like it is shaking around in the head and I had some very foggy days, but the weaning was successful and the side effects experienced during the weaning process, coupled with the dependence on the medication that requires such slow weaning,  convinced me that this medication is not for me.

During the weaning process and into the fall, I was doing yoga, meditating, jogging, and seeing a therapist. We mostly did talk therapy with me crying about feeling overwhelmed, doing too much, my challenges in my life as a mother and a wife, the loss of my family of origin, the anxiety I felt everyday around work and the workplace. I did do some EMDR and found some relief, but it seemed we never really got to the heart of the matter.

EMDR is the acronym for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. It sounds a little odd, but basically, the person who has a traumatic event in their past (and who does not have this in their history?) recalls the event, and then creates a new positive experience around the event while receiving the bilateral stimulation (this can be eye movements, but there is more comfort in hearing a bilateral tone or using hand stimulation or even bilateral tapping). The event is processed and it may take several run throughs, until the person can rate the event as no longer distressing (a o on a scale of 0-10). The person is also encouraged during the event to scan the body and find where the trauma is experienced and held.

Over a period of three weekly one hour sessions, I processed the car accident. I was able to see how God was with me throughout, we were protected by angels, how the screams and fears could be turned into God’s song, how in the end the car’s destruction and the shifts in my own cellular make up was really just about molecules; molecules changing patterns.

After 3.5 years of living with this daily anxiety, the anxiety is now gone. I worry a bit that the anxiety might return, but I am also reveling in the relief of not having my amygdala constantly firing. No longer do I wake up with my heart pounding and my stomach turning into a bundle of nerves. I am able to let go of outcomes, and realize whatever I have forgotten about doing today will be there tomorrow. I am enjoying my children more, loving my husband more, and feeling my feelings more. I am more easily able to walk into meditation and calm spaces.

The gratitude I feel for this tool being available cannot be adequately expressed here. But I am walking around in life with a feeling of peace and calm on a near continual basis. And I may have some more traumas to process, in the past and in the future, but for right here and now, I know this tool is available to guide me through. If you are suffering from a traumatic event and experiencing anxiety, you may also want to consult with an EMDR trained therapist to see if this is a tool that could be of help to you.