whenever possible and always after using the bathroom, playing with
animals, arriving home from any necessary outing (grocery store, unavoidable
medical appointment, etc.), and before preparing food, wash your hands for
20 seconds with warm water and soap.Only YOU can prevent the Zombie Apocalypse!!!)
Zombie Zapper! A Recipe for DIY Hand Sanitizer (based on Natural Grocery’s
7 parts alcohol ( isopropyl, ethanol, or Everclear)
Well, here we are.
Still here. Still wondering
what’s next. So while we’re wondering I
thought I’d share some practical suggestions with you.
A friend intimated yesterday that it was foolish of me
not to be afraid of this virus. I told
her it was more foolish to fear it, and there was a great difference between
being afraid and being practical.
“Practical” in this case doesn’t mean rushing around town looking for
isopropyl alcohol or it’s next-best substitute, Everclear. (Ugh!
Bad memories of terrible post frat party hangovers!) It means keeping clean—in our homes, our
cars, our work-places (if we’re not working from home). It means really doing the Google Five:
1HANDS Wash them often
2ELBOW Cough into it
3FACE Don’t touch it
4FEET Stay more than 3ft apart
5FEEL sick? Stay home
It also means being aware
that we live in a capitalist society, which pushes people to instinctively be
the “bestest with the mostest.” So a
tiny 1-ounce bottle of Everclear which normally costs $1.99 at your favorite
liquor store is suddenly $8. Yes, the
local drug store does have a miracle potion you can buy—at $45 for a
2-ounce bottle. Yes, it’s good to have
extra supplies on hand, but you won’t survive this particular virus (or the
Zombie Apocalypse) by hoarding. After
all, what about the folks who live in small apartments, those on monthly
paychecks, those who are elderly or infirm and can’t afford to hoard, not to
mention those who are homeless and living hand to mouth anyway? Survival depends on cooperation and care for
others as well as one’s self.
Now, about those
practical suggestions—First and foremost, boost and maintain your immune
Herbs, vitamins, and
Drink lots of water
Take it easy with
alcohol or sugar
Eat a good balanced diet
that works for you (fruits, veggies, grains, meats, dairy – vegan, vegetarian,
Get regular mild
exercise (walking is still a great idea!)
Get good rest
Take a news break. We don’t need every detail of every virus-related development all day long.
Avoid doomsayers. You’ll recognize them—they’re the folks who meet your every hopeful comment with all the reasons why you’re wrong and the worst news and speculations are right.
Again, mild exercise helps raise endorphins—those friendly little critters in our brains.
Meditate (you don’t have to sit on a cushion in a cloud of incense to do this!).
Cook something tasty for yourself or your family (cooking requires attention otherwise available for worry and other negative emotions).
Watch funny movies, kids’ movies, or chick flicks on Netflix.
Read a good upbeat book while listening to peaceful music.
Reach out to family and friends on the phone or an online conference app.
Don’t give in to despair. There are days and moments when each of us feels like we can’t keep going. Yet, here we are, after all the many challenges we’ve faced in our lives. And we’ll make it through this one as well.
And last but not least, if you’re a spiritual person (or even if not), pray. There are events in life for which we may have no explanation or understanding. And there are sources of solace greater than ourselves, whose perspective is far above our limited view. When all else fails, we can turn our troubles over to Spirit and ask for a different way of seeing what distresses us.
Every morning I sit down to review emails – there are usually at least 100 of them, ranging from political ads to friending requests on Facebook. Today it’s all about COVID-19.
I’ll start with this update from Jose and Lena Stevens’ Power Path:
We have been tracking this global event, tuning in, following updates, and giving it plenty of thought. At this time we personally have not cancelled any events or travel.
The best thing all of us can do right now is to be flexible, discerning, focus on self care and stay out of fear and anxiety. Energetically, viruses and parasites feed on fear which is a lower vibration. Humor, beauty, trust, love and joy are all of a higher vibration and a better place to be right now. Be smart, pay attention, and follow your intuition.
Always taking the position of “we create our own reality”, we have to trust that this virus has its purpose and its medicine. We will probably not see the positive results of whatever change it brings until some time in the future. It is definitely getting our attention and making us focus on beefing up our immune systems and our general health which is a good thing. And the better practices being adopted in public areas will also help reduce the spread of all flus and other diseases. It is also bringing to our attention in very physical way that we are indeed a global society and all connected if we did not realize this before. This virus affects the lungs. This is a good time to clear and support the lungs, not only physically but emotionally and energetically as well. This virus has everyone’s instinctive centers (First chakra) blasted open. When the instinctive center is opened up, all the material carried in the first chakra related to physical vitality, fear, survival, past life karma, grief, loss and suffering becomes available for clearing.
In support of this, we are adding a special remote shamanic healing on Wednesday, March 18th at 7PM MDT with Lena to work on instinctive center clearing as well as clearing the lungs and the energetic congestion and ancestral patterns of grief they may be carrying. (Link here) (note: the next remote after this special one is Tuesday March 31, 7PM MDT also with Lena)
Here are some practices and suggestions we have come up with for proactively dealing with the situation. All of this should just make good sense.
Postpone non-essential visits to doctors and dentists, hospitals, emergency rooms, retirement and rest homes, and other public health institutions. Avoid really congested events with huge crowds of people. Postpone non-essential travel. Carry wipes and hand sanitizer. Use on surfaces others have touched and on yourself after visits to public places such as markets, the banks, schools etc. Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. Refrain from picking your nose, scratching your eyes, touching your ears and mouth. Wear a mask if you are sick. Better yet, stay home if you are sick.
If you know for sure you have been exposed, quarantine yourself for 14 days. Load up on good books, work remotely.
Increase your intake of minerals, vitamin C, any immune booster, anything that supports the lungs such as a pre-made lung tonic, or herbs such as nettles, horehound, echinacea, osha root. Decrease your intake of alcohol, sugar, processed foods. Get out into the sun as much as possible with full exposure. Viruses hate the sun. Take a brisk walk in clean air daily, breathe deeply to clear the lungs and support circulation Get good exercise and plenty of rest Do a detox (epsom salt bath, ionic foot bath). Drink plenty of good water. Reduce your stress however you can. Stay out of fear and panic. Think, contemplate, use your intuition.
If you are traveling, here are some tips.Travel tips:Carry a small triple antibiotic cream and smear a little in each nostril. Carry hand sanitizer and wipes. Wipe down tray tables, seat belt clips and any other surface you come into contact with on the plane. If using the restrooms in airports or the plane wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. Bring your own food/water. Wipe down anything that has been touched by others, rental car steering wheel etc, luggage handle. A little spray bottle of lavender is always good idea. Upon returning home, wash any clothing that has come into contact with potential infection immediately.Obviously if you are sick, stay home.
Blessings to all of you. Holding our global community in prayer.
The Power Path
Now, rather than repeat what’s been written and said, I’m including links to several interesting sites.
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. Frank Herbert, Dune
This day began early – before breakfast I was on the phone with friends and health practitioners. The theme that kept raising it’s head was this: COVID-19 may be a virus– and a dangerous one, true. But the real virus is FEAR.
Those of you who may remember Frank Herbert’s famous sci-fi series, Dune, may also remember the litany-against-fear taught by the Bene Gesserit – the spiritual matriarchy and eventual rulers of the planet Arrakis, or Dune, and trainers of Paul Atreides, or Maud’Dib, who ascends to the throne of power. The litany (reprinted above) came back to me yesterday during a conversation with a friend.
Fear is indeed “the little death.” I have watched animals frozen in the face of whatever they fear. Most of the time it’s nothing in particular– only instinctive reaction to a perceived threat. But sometimes the danger is real, and being frozen is the worst thing to be.
And so it is with us. If we think about it, FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) is more about loss of control than anything else. We fear losing control of the present, the future, the past– all based on our concept of control (which nobody has, really) and our misinterpretation of various stimuli. Stimuli is the important word here. We are being stimulated by the media (including social media), our political leaders, our neighbors and friends, our families, our co-workers–everything and everyone around us advises us to be afraid. But what are we actually afraid of ?
With the proper information, our perceived threats are usually reduced to something manageable. And one of the main sources of this global fear is misinformation. We don’t really know what’s going on “out there.” So our minds are filled with questions to which there seem to be no answers. How could China have allowed this virus to escape? How could nobody have foreseen it and begun work on a vaccine? Why are viruses now a seasonal event? Why is our government so slow to act? Why are the vital services so necessary to a society’s well being so hard to attain in the US? Universal health care, social security, housing for the homeless, maternal and paternal leave at the birth of a child, counseling and rehabilitation for returning veterans, etc. — all available to citizens in many other countries, all downsized or obliterated here. Why?
There is really a rather simple answer to these questions–one we’ve been pushing under the collective rug for a very long time. Follow the money. Who benefits by stealing welfare from the poor and social security from the elderly, by withholding care for our war-wounded and those unable to pay exorbitant medical fees, by opposing a well-rounded education for all our children? While our streets and schools are falling apart, where is our tax money going? Why do life-saving medications cost so much? While our water table is being contaminated by fracking, whose pockets are stuffed with our dollars? Where are the children of immigrants, torn from their parents’ arms at our southern border? Why are they not being reunited with their families? Why are the prisons so full– especially with non-white prisoners? (The US has more prisons in operation than any other country at this time, with new ones being built every day.)
These are the questions we need to be asking. Tough questions, yes. But questions whose answers will shed light on this virus called COVID-19– its source, its spread, and its purpose.
So rather than stay frozen in fear, or respond to this particular threat like cornered animals, let’s get proactive. Let’s memorize the litany-against-fear. Let’s say it to ourselves and to each other, and when we feel overwhelmed by the flood of misinformation out there, let’s just quietly ask the question, “Who benefits?”
As it’s been said, the truth will make you free– but first it’ll piss you off. And pissed off is what we need to be right now– not fearful, but angry enough to begin to look at the real reasons behind the threats to this society. That anger, that red energy, will give us the fuel we need to move forward and make the changes that need to be made.
I realized this morning that I’m having a much harder time adjusting to the Spring Forward time change than ever before. And then it occurred to me that it’s not the time change… it’s EVERYTHING! People in this country today, from infants to elders, have never experienced an event so far-reaching and life-changing as what the World Health Organization now calls a “pandemic.” Regardless of what they choose to call it or how they choose to categorize it (including time-worn or currently popular conspiracy theories) it just adds fuel to the fire of worry and uncertainty burning inside us on a daily basis.
So how shall we weather this particular storm?
The same way we have weathered the past storms in our lives. We’ve survived childbirth, marriage, divorce, unruly kids, tummy flu, schoolyard bullies, single parenthood, military deployment, toxic work environments, crazy politicians, marital infidelity, old age, etc. etc. etc. If we have any experience at all, it’s experience in steering our little ships of state through choppy waters, and this is not really that different.
Here is some excellent, practical advice on how to deal with the stress created by COVID-19 in an already stressful environment.
The Corona virus (COVID-19) has certainly got us all
up and running around in various stages of proactivity, reactivity, and
out-and-out panic. What to do? We’ve dealt with SARS, the bird flu, and
various other iterations of the “common cold” virus. So why is everyone so concerned about this particular
Sparing you all my
favorite conspiracy theories, there are some good sources of information on
what to do, what not to do, and how to keep calm in the midst of it. One of the most comprehensive so far is New
Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich’s website, which provides links to practically
every source of information, new and old, from visiting a relative in a managed
care facility to global travel.
Letter forwarded by Dr. Howard Schwartz (Santa Fe NM) to his mailing list on 3/1/2020:
> Dear Family and Friends, as some of you may recall, when I was a professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego, I was one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses (the 1970s). I was the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained. Since then, I have kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population (e.g., SARS, MERS), from different animal sources. > > The current projections for its expansion in the US are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread by mid to late March and April. > > Here is what I have done and the precautions that I take and will take. These are the same precautions I currently use during our influenza seasons, except for the mask and gloves.: > > 1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc. > > 2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove. > > 3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip – do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors. > > 4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts. > > 5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been. > > 6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home’s entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can’t immediately wash your hands. > > 7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more! > > What I have stocked in preparation for the pandemic spread to the US: > > 1) Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas. > > Note: This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average – everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs). The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth. > > 2) Stock up now with disposable surgical masks and use them to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth (We touch our nose/mouth 90X/day without knowing it!). This is the only way this virus can infect you – it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth – it is only to keep you from touching your nose or mouth. > > 3) Stock up now with hand sanitizers and latex/nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective. > > 4) Stock up now with zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY “cold-like” symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. Cold-Eeze lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available. > > I, as many others do, hope that this pandemic will be reasonably contained, BUT I personally do not think it will be. Humans have never seen this snake-associated virus before and have no internal defense against it. Tremendous worldwide efforts are being made to understand the molecular and clinical virology of this virus. Unbelievable molecular knowledge about the genomics, structure, and virulence of this virus has already been achieved. BUT, there will be NO drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection within us. Only symptomatic support is available. > > I hope these personal thoughts will be helpful during this potentially catastrophic pandemic. Good luck to all of us, Dad/Jim. > > James Robb, MD FCAP”
Now, having read these two articles, how do you feel? In my mind, and in the words of young Adam Avin who teaches mindfulness to children through his program and website, Wuf Shanti, the best advice is to “think well to be well.”
Follow sensible preventative guidelines (some of Dr. Robb’s are sensible and some seem a bit over the top), stay home when you don’t feel well, get a good sleep, and as stated in the Huffington Post article, take a break from the news and social media.
I find it’s helpful to listen to lively music while cooking dinner and either read or watch a funny or romantic movie (my husband calls them “chick flicks”) afterwards. I’ve stopped checking my news feed during breakfast (which definitely improves both taste and digestion). A nice long walk provides perspective and helps restore peace of mind. When talking to clients or friends who are feeling anxious I try to be as calm and positive as possible– which calms me too. When triggered by a news report or other source of upsetting information, I stop, take a couple of deep breaths, and ask myself the following questions:
Is this happening to me or to someone I know?
Is this happening here? Now?
Is there anything I can do about this right now?
If the answer to these three questions is “no,” then I simply turn the whole thing over to Spirit and get on with my day. The important thing to remember is this:
It’ll all be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.
This is something I posted quite awhile ago. However, it’s more relevant now than ever, especially as we struggle daily with the pressures of climate change, national political scandals, global unrest, and the possibility of a viral pandemic. (I’ll write more about that in the next couple of posts.)
Slowly but inexorably, science and medicine are moving toward a more holistic view of wellness, toward acceptance of the existence of a mind-body connection that influences our health or lack of it.
In earlier times, the correlation between what people thought and how their bodies felt was an accepted tenet of healers everywhere. Indigenous healers believed (and still do, in many cases) that positive thinking produced positive results. The reverse is also true. A negative thought, whether directed outward towards another or turned inwards towards the self can result in illness and in some cases, death.
Hawaiian shamanism or Huna contends that the ability of the body, the Unihipili or “little self,” to communicate with Spirit, Aumakua or the “higher self,” and interpret Spirit’s messages correctly can produce not only physical health but a good and fulfilling life. This is often accomplished through ritual—which can include a dance, a prayer, a special ceremony, or the creation of a symbolic art piece. The Uhane or “middle self,” which in Western thought is called “ego,” can help or hinder this process, depending upon whether it is allowed to run the show or serve the higher purpose.
For example, in the Southwestern US, a modern Navajo ha’atali or healer will conduct a “sing”— a ceremony of supplication to Spirit on behalf of a sick tribal member, which often includes the creation of a sand painting meant to convey special symbolic messages to the patient’s higher self and the Great Spirit (of which, many believe, we are all part). In such a case, the patient’s family, friends, and community members are all expected to participate, because it is felt that the dis-ease of one member affects the whole, and the sing may last for several days.
Although such a communal approach to healing appears to have a powerfully positive effect on the patient’s prognosis, I feel it is effective in the sense that the patient’s journey back to health is being witnessed by those persons most important to him. The real, underlying power lies in the belief that sickness is not something from outside visited upon the patient, but springs from within, from his own felt disconnection from Spirit, from his Source of Being.
The challenge, then, is to help the patient understand that he has never been separated from Source, and that it is only the machinations of the ego that have made it appear that he was. Ego is not a friend. One of Ego’s favorite tricks to make us miserable is suggestion– particularly negative suggestion– and it employs all sorts of outlets for this: the news media, friends’ comments, our own thoughts, bumper stickers, films, and so on.
I’ll expand upon these thoughts in future posts. Meanwhile, whether you hold to Newtonian physics or have begun to embrace the new paradigm of quantum physics, you can try this little experiment on the power of suggestion:
Take two small plants in separate pots and place them fairly far away from each other. Each day, in the morning and evening, address one plant with loving thoughts. You can say things like, “You’re beautiful!” or “I love you!” or “I want you to grow and I’ll help you!” To the other plant you must say very negative things such as, “You are so ugly!” or “I think you’re beginning to shrivel up!” or “I want you to die!”
Then watch what happens with the plants. Throughout this process you must continue to water them and take care of them in the usual mechanical way. They should receive the same amount of sun, water, fresh air, etc.
For references, see Tompkins & Bird’s The Secret Life of Plants
Another fascinating and perhaps more personal experiment is to ask a friend to help you as follows: On Day One, the friend must greet you with effusive praise. “You look wonderful today! You must have had a fantastic evening last night. Your hair looks gorgeous, you have the most enchanting smile!” etc. That night, record in a journal your emotional and physical responses to this communication. On Day Two, the same friend must greet you with comments such as “Oh, dear—you don’t look too good. Are you coming down with something? What’s going on with you?” etc.) That night, again record in your journal your emotional and physical responses to this communication. On Day Three, note the differences in your emotional and physical responses to the two different verbal messages you’ve received.
Then I invite you to comment on your results here in this blog. Have fun with this, and let me know how it goes!
My husband is a disabled Vietnam veteran. Without his disability stipend, social security payments, and my counseling practice, we could easily be among those you’ll read about here.
Each night, hundreds of thousands of Americans are homeless in the United States. They lay their heads down to rest in our public parks, on bus-stop benches, and in tent encampments. They sleep in their RVs and cars, under bridges, and in weekly-rate motel rooms that are unsafe for adults and unfit for children. Every year, more than a million men, women, and children are homeless in the United States. This would be a moral outrage anywhere, but in the richest country in the history of the world, it is unconscionable.
Only last winter a homeless man familiar to many Santa Feans froze to death on the sidewalk in front of the Starbuck’s on the Plaza. It made the news, but nothing changed. Veterans in particular are vulnerable, not only because of homelessness, but because PTSD and other battle-related injuries and illnesses make them afraid of other people and thus unable to come in from the cold.
How is it possible that a crisis of this magnitude exists?
It is unacceptable. The question for us is this:
Will we sit back and continue to let it happen, or will we
stand up together and demand better for our fellow Americans?
I appeal to you, I urge you – Make ending homelessness a
priority. In the vast array of societal issues you care about, please remember
that people are literally dying on the streets every day because they do not
have housing. Each day that we allow this to happen, we are failing our
brothers and sisters. It is time to take real action toward restoring the lives
and dignity of homeless people.
In order to end homelessness, we need well-designed community
systems that work together, and we must improve our homelessness prevention
work. Long term solutions such as livable wages, affordable housing, and access
to healthcare are all crucial elements in turning the tide on the homeless
The time to act is now. Let’s work together to make ending homelessness a priority today. If you feel moved to help– and I hope you will– please contact me at orenda-arts.org so that we can discuss viable options for ending this tragic situation.
Visit http://invisiblepeople.tv to hear raw, unedited and
unfiltered stories from people experiencing homelessness.
I’ll be showing you some photos, taken in Santa Fe, NM, on Old Pecos Trail, January 8, 2020. They may or may not upset you. You are invited to share your views in the space designed for comments below. Please DO NOT post racist, violent, obscene, or insulting comments. They will be marked as spam and trashed. There is enough war in the world and we don’t need one here. The object of this exercise is twofold: first, in the spirit of Wholebeing Wellness, to help bring our unacknowledged wounds and/or biases to the surface of consciousness for healing, and second, to initiate a productive and hopefully positive dialogue. The question I’m asking is simply this: is it better to know what’s going on in our world and perhaps address it, or to hide from this knowledge in hopes that “it won’t happen here?” In a fast-shrinking world, NIMBY is not a choice– it’s a disease.
Granted, in Santa Fe, this sort of activism is somewhat unusual– not because of the content of the imagery but because of how and where it is displayed– in a private neighborhood rather than a public place. Indeed one mother, walking by with her two children, confronted me yesterday as I was taking the photos and demanded to know what I thought about them. When I told her I felt that the display was timely and appropriate she became upset and insisted that it was “disturbing to young families” to see this sort of thing where they walked every day. I reminded her that she had children the same age as those depicted here, implying that a little compassion might be in order. But she wasn’t having any of that, so I just ended the conversation and went on with the photo shoot.
About the images: They were created by a Navajo artist who calls himself Remy– taken from actual photographs, enlarged, and attached to the wall with wheat paste. The wall on which they are mounted belongs to Guthrie Miller, a retired Los Alamos Laboratory scientist who had an epiphany and decided to “out” the violence to which he believes our military industrial complex contributes. He is a brave man– one who, despite the strong opposition of many of his neighbors, continues to allow the nonprofit Santa Feans for Justice in Palestine to post images on his wall. As you can see, some objecting viewers have already begun to tear the images off the wall.
And finally, an image posted earlier by a different artist.
Feel free to comment– but remember, please be kind.