Get You Some Love


Cemetary (Photo credit: Vu Bui)

The ocean is like an untended cemetery, compared to my youth dives, with shoots of life breaking up the stone and dead coral.  A little family of forceps butterfly fish flutter around the tips of something brown.  I honk sounds through the water to my kids when I spy a trumpet fish, a big one, with some neon lighting up the gray long body.  My kids are so energized.

There are three turtles and I remember I have never swum with turtles before.  “Hey.  That’s cool,” I think.  I try to reconcile the turtles with the changes from when I snorkeled and dove reefs years ago, “Positive?  Negative?”  Something there in me wants to feed this info through my inner hope-machine to convince my other that when my kids swim another future day, the ocean will not be dead.  Foreboding.

I am starting to get disoriented by this and surface to get a grip. My husband pops up and I whisper to him, so our kids do not overhear and lose their energy to my negativity, “It’s like a tomb, Honey!  I can hardly stand it!”  And like a compass, he points to a better direction.  “It’s fine, Sana.  It is what it is.”  Interpretation can distort experience.

Thanks to husband and the reconnection of interpretation with presence, under water, I see this moment, this day, in the parrot fish, the coronets, and the puffers. And I, with more gravity, am able to enjoy what Love is giving now.  A solemn gift.  More informed, my appreciation is deeper and I can receive.

Receiving Love is not as easy as it sounds.  It is the work of a moment.  It is the work of a lifetime.  I am a spoiler, unable to love myself, unless I am able to receive Love from outside of myself and connect with it, in my pathway of Me-to-Me.

I am just starting to get this and am eager to understand and own more, because, this has been amazing.  This is something like how it goes so far; tense up, maybe angry Me, (reason or no reason,) pause, look, pray for it, pause, acknowledge, let it do its thing on Me. Start over. Again. Again.

In we who suffer brain illness, we who suffer cancer, we who are in the dying stage of life, in we who, we, we are in the right place to do this.  This is just where we need to be to receive Love.

Illness does not keep us from the ability to receive Love.  Poverty does not.  Dead coral and loss do not.  Nothing can.

Everything can be used by Love to communicate to us.  Illness can.  Poverty, dying, loss can.  Anything can be used to bring into our circle of Me-to-Me, Love.  Love is now.

I am glad, in age, that I am increasingly aware of the changeability inherent in everything, everything, positive, negative, everything.  This is one more way I am able to receive Love.  Age.

Being able to receive Love requires the process of changing.  It is not stagnant, stationary, unaging.  As far as we are able to understand, it is not.  We are creatures of dimension, creatures of space and time and until we are further created to receive otherwise, this is.

Question:  how do you increase your reception of Love?  How do you receive Love?  How does this affect your friendship with yourself.  Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip:  Increase your Love-reception.

Do This

Do this.
Hearing this phrase, command, suggestion can be, well, triggering. Please don’t run. This is just too good to miss.

My girlfriend, and mentor, Jessica Adams, was recently awarded “Kaia Queen, Fall 2013.” She is a marvel. An inspiration. A success and to be watched. Eyes right, troopers.
Jessica started exercising and eating healthy about ?three months ago. She stopped all alcohol, although she wasn’t a lush before :). To support her, her boyfriend joined in. They are now healthy, strong, and between then both, there are thirty seven pounds displaced elsewhere.
I have been in Kaia since a year ago now. I am no Jessica. I am a stubborn bit. I have gotten stronger and healthier and I love that my body is my own again. I am still in the unhealthy weight category though and thirty pounds higher than my high school weight – back in the day when river trips were a stage and self-esteem was more about that. Back when. So much distance between now and then. Sigh.
I looked at Jessica the other day and said, “Who am I to argue with that. I am going to ‘do this.'” Why argue with what works, I figure.

Jessica, sweetheart that she is, responded with a beautiful composition you might enjoy as well.

Jessica, courageous as ever, released her writing and name for us.
Way to go Jessica! We celebrate you!

On Oct 28, 2013, at 9:10 PM,
By, Jessica Adams

I haven’t forgotten my promise to send you recipes and tell you what I’m eating! 🙂

For breakfast I am going to make a green drink every day and add a serving of hemp protein. I have two faves: peanut butter chocolate banana and berry apple.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Smoothie
1 frozen banana
1 cup almond milk
1 tbs peanut butter
1 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups loose baby spinach
1 serving hemp protein
water to thin it out
ice to make it more icy if that’s how you like it

Berry Apple
1 apple
1/2 cup frozen berries
1 cup almond milk
2 cups loose baby spinach
1 serving hemp protein

For lunch I am making a big salad and adding some legumes or grains to it. For example:
1 tbs olive oil
Juice of one lemon
salt & pepper
sliced green onion
1 cup garbanzo beans (or any legume)
3 celery stalks thinly sliced
1 tomato chopped
2 cups organic kale blend

I just play around with the ingredients depending on my mood. Tabbouleh would prob be really good to eat as long as it is more heavy on the veggies rather than the grains. Maybe have it on top of a bed of greens and squeeze extra lemon juice on it.

For dinners I am filling my plate with vegetables: steamed broccoli, cooked squash, greens (cooked or raw), beets, yams, roasted brussels sprouts…anything that sounds good. Then I am adding some legume, or tofu, or fish, or grain. For grains I usually eat quinoa.

I made some felafel patties ahead of time that are very tasty.

Felafel Patties
1 cup chickpea flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder, onion powder, coriander
1/2 cup hot water
juice of half a lemon

mix all the dry ingredients
add the hot water and lemon
let sit 10 min
then shape into small patties and fry in small amount of olive oil or coconut oil

Lentil soup is another thing I like to make ahead for dinners:

Spaghetti squash with black bean guacamole:

Any recipe from oh she glows is golden. I love her food! I think you would too 🙂

For snacks I am focusing on veggies rather than fruit. I pack a whole cucumber and bell pepper for snack at work.

On days when my neighbor isn’t gone in the morning (I peek out the window to check) I don’t like to run the blender because I am afraid it will disturb her. So I will probably cook myself a couple over-medium eggs and enjoy those with sauteed tomato and a couple corn tortillas.

Coffee in the morning. No creamers! Almond milk only. Green tea the rest of the day if I want it.

I don’t keep anything in my house that I will binge on. Such as: tortilla chips, nutella, any kind of sweetdelicioussaltysnack thing. Sometimes I even have to ban avocados and nut butters. I’ve taken down a jar of sunflower seed butter in two days before…ugh. I throw food away if I know it will tempt me. Actually…I have to sabotage the food first (dousing it in dish soap is one of my go-to techniques) so I won’t try to rescue it from the trash! Oh the shame! LOL. I do not keep gifts of candy or baked goods. I give them away before I even get home. I also only cook rice and noodles in single servings because I will binge on those too.

I’m training for the Avocado Half Marathon in Fallbrook that will be in February. So, I am running 5 days a week in addition to Kaia. Just easy pre-training runs so far; 3-5 miles.

I hope this is helpful 🙂 It is helpful for me to put it in writing so now I have to follow through! Oh…speaking of, I track all my food on My user name is yessicasue if you want to add me as a friend on there!

Ok Sana…let’s be strong and committed! One great day at a time. We can do it 🙂





Fatal Game of Playing Chicken

Stubborn in a game of chicken, who will win?

“The principle of the game is that while each player prefers not to yield to the other, the worst possible outcome occurs when both players do not yield.”

chicken race

As said by one avid chicken-owner at the UK World Championship Hen Races, “Listen birdbrain, you either perform for me, or perform for Colonel Sanders.”

Sometimes it is like that between the idea of, everything starts and ends with Me, that we hold here at and others who say, Love God first.

So, in the spirit of hoping, and “racing well,” let’s discuss.

If we could Love another first, that would just be great.  But we can’t.  (Hear the whine? 🙂  I suppose I have made those sounds before.)  We can’t.  I think that is the curse of Adam and Eve.  We can’t love anyone truly more than ourselves.  It always comes back to me.  We can be thankful for Jesus saving those Garden-of-Edeners, and the rest of us from that lonely circle.  Jesus inserted Himself into our round and round so first, we are never alone, and second, we have Love that is bigger than any catastrophe we think we were born into or happened upon along the way.

When I was a young-in, I studied at Rosario Beach.  We took samples from the ocean and did funky things to them and finally were tested and passed the class.  In this process we studied insertion genes.  These are awesome in their changing power.  This is how mutations happen in nature as well as how we now do genetic engineering.

insertion gene

None of us, like lined up chromosomes, can insert into ourselves the ability to start or end anywhere but with Me.  But, just like the stupidity of working out before you go to the gym, we do not wait for that to be inserted into Me before we pursue Love.   Love inserts in.  Until then, the Love part is foreign to Me.  It is a mystery.  Our life journey of beginning and ending with Me is changed from the one we started with.

Like weaving in magic into the common circle that everything starts and ends with Me,…  But we are not magicians.  I am no magician, although I have watched, “Now You See Me,” 🙂 and I understand that even magicians do not believe what they do is magic.

We have often said and heard others say, “Don’t love Me first, Love God first.”   We are not worth much to our neighbor though if we do not like Me.

So basically any time on our personal life journey, we might have enough insight to perceive the Loving of another more than Me, think Magic.  Someone did you an insert.  Now, even though your circle will still end with Me, your Me is changed and connected to Love.

It is a bummer that so many of us, with inherent self-recrimination, tell ourselves and others to, “Love God first,” when we might as well demand that we do our own gene engineering with Magic.  If and/or when we do love another first, by definition, that is not about Me.

“We love, because He first loved Me.”  ‘Member?  1Jo 4:19

We can, however, enter ourselves in for the insertion.  If we do not put our name in, it is harder to get called I would think.

Self-Care Tip:  Believe in Magic to treat yourself and others kinder, with less self-recrimination, and with more hope.

Questions:  I’m still growing on this.  What do you think?

Work Hard at What You Must – Stigma

Late... Again ?

I was late again for my exercise group, Kaia F.I.T.  It almost kept me from going.  Being late is embarrassing!

Being late is a misunderstood disease.  A syndrome.  I am pretty sure there is a formal diagnosis that the DSM-VI (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illness) will have for it.  Difficulty with being late will get its own ribbon.  I do not know.  Maybe yellow after “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.  I will tie yellow ribbons to my hair, shoes, car, and get a yellow-ribbon pin for my shirt on behalf of myself and all those with like-affliction.  Stigma toward those of us suffering with this condition will diminish.

(I am really hoping Becca, Rene, Alyssa, Maria and all other Kaia coaches across America are reading this so that I, and those who suffer like me, will not be further socially abused, nor get the government involved.)

Now, in celebration of diminishing stigma of any kind all around the world, I am reposting, with gratitude:

“Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper” (Charlotte Perkins Gilman)

Many and many a reader has asked that. When the story first came out, in the New England Magazine about 1891, a Boston physician made protest in The Transcript. Such a story ought not to be written, he said; it was enough to drive anyone mad to read it.Another physician, in Kansas I think, wrote to say that it was the best description of incipient insanity he had ever seen, and–begging my pardon–had I been there?Now the story of the story is this:

For many years I suffered from a severe and continuous nervous breakdown tending to melancholia–and beyond. During about the third year of this trouble I went, in devout faith and some faint stir of hope, to a noted specialist in nervous diseases, the best known in the country. This wise man put me to bed and applied the rest cure, to which a still-good physique responded so promptly that he concluded there was nothing much the matter with me, and sent me home with solemn advice to “live as domestic a life as far as possible,” to “have but two hours’ intellectual life a day,” and “never to touch pen, brush, or pencil again” as long as I lived. This was in 1887.

I went home and obeyed those directions for some three months, and came so near the borderline of utter mental ruin that I could see over.

Then, using the remnants of intelligence that remained, and helped by a wise friend, I cast the noted specialist’s advice to the winds and went to work again–work, the normal life of every human being; work, in which is joy and growth and service, without which one is a pauper and a parasite–ultimately recovering some measure of power.

Being naturally moved to rejoicing by this narrow escape, I wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper,” with its embellishments and additions, to carry out the ideal (I never had hallucinations or objections to my mural decorations) and sent a copy to the physician who so nearly drove me mad. He never acknowledged it.

The little book is valued by alienists and as a good specimen of one kind of literature. It has, to my knowledge, saved one woman from a similar fate–so terrifying her family that they let her out into normal activity and she recovered.

But the best result is this. Many years later I was told that the great specialist had admitted to friends of his that he had altered his treatment of neurasthenia since reading The Yellow Wallpaper.

It was not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from being driven crazy, and it worked.


SOURCE: The Forerunner, October 1913.

Awesome, huh!?

Self-care tip:  Work hard where you must.  Stigma is as stigma does.  Keep on.

Question:  Where is stigma attacking you?  What are doing with it?  Please tell us your story.

Nurse tells her experience – Suicide

Guest Post

by, Leslie Oneil, RN

Nurse extraordinaire!  Person to know.  More.

Nurse extraordinaire! Person to know. More.

In The Ring

I sat at a table in a large meeting room watching Dr. as she stood in front of the room. She stood in front of us with poise…armored with stories, analogies, statistics, and invisible red boxing gloves to match her red dress. She was ready to defend mental illness, and fight for its proper place in medicine and in the spot light where it belongs…right next to the heavy hitters: cancer, heart disease, diabetes.

Dr. delivered the statistics….”1 in 5 people suffer from depression.” She counts the room, “1, 2, 3, 4, depressed. 1, 2, 3, 4, depression.” She continued, “Put all of the depressed people in a room, and look around. 1 in 15 of those suffering from depression will go on to commit suicide.” It’s dramatic. The room was silent. It usually is. I am not comfortable with the topic anymore than I was the first time, but I am getting used to hearing the same phrases, the same statistics, and responding to the same questions from the audience. I am now familiar with the language of mental illness.

Last Friday, as I stood in the middle of the PACU, our eyes met. It felt intense. it was an emergency, and an emergency in behavioral health means…

Then I heard Michael Buffer, the master of ceremonies, in my head. He introduced the statistic to the ring. Dramatic music played, and before I had the chance to raise my gloves, the statistic nailed me…First with a left hook, then went below the belt. I was knocked out. Speechless with my face in my hands. Gloves were off.


Your patient committed suicide.


No amount of training prepares you. No power point presentation. No book. No doctor.


I never even imagined how I would handle the news. I was weak in the knees and shook.

The patient was starting electroconvulsive therapy in 3 days. The patient had just called me. The patient denied any suicidal thoughts. The patient…….It doesn’t stop.

The gravity of what I do hit me. It hit me hard.

As I drove home I thought, “Have I entered a losing battle? I’ve wanted to be a nurse to comfort people, advocate for them, care for them, and try to help improve their quality of life if possible.” If possible are the key words.

Am I okay with, “We did everything we could. Stop. Time of death….”


My question to you: “Do you find gratification with the result or with the process?”

You think you know the answer…until you’re in the ring.


Leslie Oneil, RN, is a ECT specialist nurse.  She writes at a blog worth following, A Very LOshow.