December is a month of reflection and of gratitude. For me, this process leads to releasing what no longer nourishes me and to a commitment of investing more energy into what does feed my soul.
Personally, 2019 has been a year of shifting how I live. It was a wrestling match between old habits and ways of perceiving the world, and learning to operate, at a deeper level, in a more internally directed fashion.
Part of this journey has involved deepening my awareness of my biology. Specifically, of how our physiology needs to be supported with nutrition and bodywork. And, how meditation and focusing (Eugene Gendlin’s tool) allow us to access our body’s wisdom, hear our subconscious, and support our biology.
My education in nutrition has been provided by the books of Anthony Williams, the Medical Medium. He validates my belief that our bodies are our allies, and do their best to support us with what we give them. The challenge is to do a better job of giving our bodies what they need!
The body’s physical processes role model to us the ideal supports our emotional and mental energies require to stay healthy and vibrant. As I learned about the hard working liver, and how to better feed my liver, I also got better at clearing my energy. For me, this includes letting my emotions flow, and, with the help of the wise Karla McLaren (Check out her book The Language of Emotions), listening to the teachings of my feelings.
After many years of resistance, I finally embraced muscle testing. This started with taking Zabrina’s pendulum workshop. My pendulum and I still have a somewhat cool relationship. I am more secure muscle testing through my body. This process has provided me with another way to strengthen my respect of and intimacy with my body.
Of course the horses and the other animals and birds on the property have also been teaching about the body all year long. After several years of not being successful in alleviating Chunky’s body of bloating, gooey eyes and juicy, messy farts, he is looking and feeling much better. He now lives on soaked grass/alfalfa cubes and a little grass or hay, depending on the season. Even a master healer like Mr Chunky has to listen to his physiology.
We said good-bye to two of our angel horses this year. In January, to Joey, and, in November, to Kara. Despite Joey’s love of life, his body had reached its limit. In Kara’s case, we were able to keep her body in good health until the end. She was mentally and emotionally leaving before her body totally stopped functioning. In both Joey and Kara we witnessed the dialogue between the body and the mind. Joey showed us, his entire life, how the mind can influence the body, even a body with many challenges like his. Kara showed us how good care of the body, mind, emotions and spirit support physical health.
At the end of August, Gypsy arrived. He is an orange, male cat. He is extremely athletic. Nevertheless, he knows hunger. He began his life on the city streets in China. Scarlett rescued him, and brought him to Canada where Jessica, my daughter, adopted him. His body clearly remembers the impact of hunger. He never strays far from the food bowl. While he loves to go outside, he asks to come back inside within minutes, and goes straight to the cats’ food. Once he has eaten a bit, he goes back outside. This goes on all day long!
I feel Gypsy is honouring his body’s memory of not getting the sustenance it requires. This of course is partly the emotional body remembering. However, Gypsy’s vigilance about the contents of the food dish is also an honouring of physiology and how important good nutrition is.
Another 2019 animal adventure was the continuing saga of ‘the wild chicken’. She is a major force here on the property. She had another brood of chicks this year. Unfortunately, one of the hens did not get adequate nutrition and her legs began collapsing on her, and eventually stopped working all together. I tried for a number of weeks to support her with multiple feedings of riboflavin water, as well as her feed. However, her body died on her. It was endearing to watch and listen to her connect with her mother and siblings each evening when they returned to the hay shed where our little girl lived.
In July, Milwaukie (A power tool brand – Christiaan gets to name the kittens!), or as Zabrina and I call her, Millie, arrived. She is a black, short-haired beauty – very petite and expressive. Like all babies and little people, she uses her body to tell the world what she needs. Her body loudly expresses what she wants. As her body grows, she is capable of more and more. It is wonderful to watch her discover life and to see how her curiosity is determined by what her body is capable of.
Alfred, the great horned owl who has lived here for quite some time, spent many weeks this year hanging out in the covered arena. He seemed to use this protected space to keep watch over his youngster. Eventually Alfreda and the youngster joined Alfred in the arena. Even these powerful birds recognize the physical vulnerability of the young, developing body, and honoured the need of their baby for physical protection.
In the Fall, Boris arrived. He is a badger. We are all in awe of his body’s powers, and just a little bit intimidated, maybe even scared, of Boris’ ability to dismantle his prey. Boris has found every tunnel the marmots have made, has widened these holes and taken ownership of these spaces. Once in a while we get to see Mr Badger. He has a very adorable face with ears protruding from the sides of his head. His body is long and looks meaty, yet loose skinned. His claws are like multi-functional tools. These are used for digging deep into the earth – a reminder, once again, of how the body belongs to the earth, and needs the minerals, and herbs of the earth that badger energy is connected to.
In the last month, the nuthatches have returned. I am not sure how long they have been away, but certainly a year. They hang upside down on the birdfeeder. Sometimes 8 of them at a time. They do not compete for the peanuts. They share the feeder and its contents. Ted Andrews tells us that the nuthatch reminds us of our physicality and the need to bring the spiritual into our daily lives here on earth. Helping the nuthatch energy are the small woodpeckers who also visit the same feeder, reminding us to breathe in this energy and make it our new rhythm of being in the world.
As I learn to better honour my body, my emotional, mental and spiritual energies feel more substantial. Life feels fuller, richer, more meaningful. Once again I thank the animals and birds for a year of learning.