Saturday, April 22, 2017

Self-Acceptance and Religion

There is no place for self-acceptance in the Christian religion

In my journey to seek energetic healing I have had the great opportunity to attend a DBT-Dialectal Behavioral Therapy group. I learned many important lessons. The first of which is radical acceptance. This means that one does not fight the way that things are, but that an individual finds a sort of zen in just allowing life to be as it is, rather than forcing, or fleeing circumstances that arrive. Accepting things as they are and measuring one's capability to respond to life in a grounded manner; to accept the world, your past, your circumstances, your choices and above all accepting one's self.

Religion teaches a message of self-abnegation; to die to ourselves and live as a deity, or prophet was written to.
The definition of self-abnegation is, "the willingness to forgo personal pleasures or undergo personal trials in the pursuit of the increased good of another."
This means a cessation in the journey of the soul that this lifetime offers. A person stops believing in themselves and their own ability to learn, grow and mature in universal understanding, and have a much narrower perspective of life through a religious lens.

Self-acceptance is the key ingredient to becoming a whole, grounded and positive being.
As someone who has felt shattered and scattered I have benefited greatly from learning to accept myself. I live in humility knowing that all people are equal in their existence, some are just damaged.

The most difficult hurdle that I have had to face is the pain inflicted upon me by my parents. I have lived with feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and self-loathing. Why? I struggle with feeing that I have not been enough, I haven't known enough to make better choices and have an accurate perspective on interpersonal dynamics and how to foster as well as maintain healthy relationships. I just plain lacked certain heathy developmental concepts.

Self-acceptance was never imbued to me by my mother. She was the first person to give me negative and defeating feedback, and the abuse that I endured left open fissures in my heart and damaged me psychologically. I have spent years trying to "heal". I sought answers in the Christian religion and I can tell you that there are no lessons in the Bible that teach a person how to cope with trauma, how to be a complete individual after having your psyche assaulted, or how to be a strong woman with healthy boundaries after having my boundaries assaulted my whole live in different manners.

"Oh, but Amy, there are plenty of great Christian books out there that are about boundaries, the role of women, and living a peace filled life through the Holy Spirit."
Yeah, the thing is that the authors use the spiritual perspective of a broken, out of date, culturally irrelevant astro-theological literary hybrid.

The Christian Bible Is Broken



The only Biblical model that has been written, by men, is Proverbs 31. It is an impractical list of the daily accomplishments of a dutiful wife by a man.
The Christian biblical scriptures do not convey respect for women. I can say with absolute certainty that no single religious text has all of the answers for life.
There is a song by Killah Priest called Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, it is an acronym for the B.I.B.L.E.
After much research and studying I stand in a position of understanding that has proven to me that that this is an inaccurate description of the bible.

The error with the Christian bible is that the original King James version of the new Testament was completed in 1611 by 8 members of the Church of England. The oldest manuscripts we have were written down hundreds of years after the last supposed apostle died. There are over 8,000 of these old manuscripts, with no two alike. There were(and still are) no original texts to translate.

The King James translators used none of these anyway, instead they edited previous translations to create a version that their king and Parliament would approve of.

It is outright abhorrent how fundamentalist Christians behave; homophobia, xenophobia, delusions that medicine is not necessary for mental illness, unflattering modest dressing, isolation from non-believers, excommunication and shunning, anti-scientific views, child abuse, domestic abuse, and the lack of the ability to believe in the human spirit.


So, 21st century Christians believe the "Word of God" is without error, but it is a book edited in the 17th century (that's why the terms 'king' and 'lord' in the text) from 16th century translations of contradictory copies of 4th century scrolls that claim to be copies of lost letters written in the 1st century...by men. Men who at the behest of the church left out nearly 30% of the books that were translated.

The books that were removed are 24 in total.
The First Book of Adam and Eve
The Second Book of Adam and Eve
The Psalms of Solomon
The Odes of Solomon
The Letter of Aristeas
The First Book of the Maccabees
The Second Book of the Maccabees
The Third Book of The Maccabees
The Fourth Book of The Maccabees
The Story of Ahikar
The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
The Testament of Reuben
The Testament of Simeon
The Testament of Levi
The Testament of Judah
The Testament of Issachar
The Testament of Zebulon
The Testament of Dan
The Testament of Naphtali
The Testament of Gad
The Testament of Asher
The Testament of Joseph
The Testament of Benjamin

Looks like the strongest authority on the Christian doctrine did not heed the statement in Revelation about not adding to or taking a way from the "Holy Spirit inspired holy" books
The Catholic Church has the scrolls and books, as well as antiquities in a vault below the Vatican. 
There are rumors that the Library of Alexandria was secretly transferred to the Vatican vault as well.
Regular people are not allowed to go read the books, they are only read by those whom are in service to the church and have special clearance.

I don't get why the people of this planet are not allowed to read the Hebrew mythology or the Alexandrian books. I bet that the Jews, originating from the Hebrews and the Abrahamic lineage, are rather miffed that 24 books of their heritage are locked away from them.

Deprogramming

John 3:16 has been the bait that has hooked so many people's minds. The promise of an afterlife. This is one theme that every religion has, the hope of a good place for the soul to dwell after death; paradise or eternal punishment-nothing else. The idea of a heaven and eternal servitude to a deity does not sound like a picnic to me, it sounds like soul slavery-as if our agreement to the salvation spell binds our precious free will in life, and our souls in death  to Yahweh for eternity. That creeps me the f--- out.

The thing is that we have already solved the puzzle of what happens to the soul after the death of the body. Genuine mediums have been able to communicate with people whose consciousness is just beyond the frequency of detection for most people. People have been visited by loved one's in dreams. There is even a book called The Afterlife of Billy Fingers which describes a woman's experience of being communicated with by her brother who had passed on. It is a very interesting dialogue in which many descriptions of life after death are described. The experiences that Billy Fingers describe; many spiritual masters from all religions, the Akashic records, and other encounters that I won't spoil for you, just go to show that fearing death is unnecessary.

People like Delores Cannon have been able to open our eyes to the very real concept of reincarnation. She interviewed and hypno-regressed thousands of people who described past lifetimes.
The concept of souls recycling is nothing new, we just now have substantial testimonies of people who are able to recall their past incarnations. Other people have mentioned that after physical death of the body that they made a conscious choice, as just a light body/consciousness/soul to either travel the cosmos, or to reincarnate back on Earth.

For 24 years I ascribed to the indoctrination and conditioning of the Hebrew and Greek translated teachings. I can say that the perspective of women in the bible is not in anyway uplifting to the feminine spirit.
I am not any man's servant, I can speak my mind, I am not going to be sold to highest bidder, being married as a child is wrong, and women are not the wicked, evil, seductive temptation to men as they are portrayed. Just read Ecclesiastes. That was the final straw for me.

The belief to, "Just give it to God." has not been in any way helpful. 

Just giving over your thoughts of trouble to an ideology of a god absolves a person of the responsibility to seek out new information, to explore strange new intellectual territory, and to be open to the Universe being so much more than what 4th century writers could even understand.

The self-proclaimed deity, the great "I am" Yahweh, hasn't returned anyone's calls for over 2,500 years. "God" as described in the Christian bible is just an idea, same as the adversary "Satan".

Who is Yahweh?
Wikipedia says,Yahweh (/ˈjɑːhw/, or often /ˈjɑːw/ in English; Hebrew: יהוה‎‎) was the national god of the Iron Age kingdoms of Israel (Samaria) and Judah,[2] and the ancient historical form of the Abrahamic God. His exact origins are disputed, although they reach back to the early Iron Age and even the Late Bronze:[3] his name may have begun as an epithet of El, head of the Bronze Age Canaanite pantheon,[4] but the earliest plausible mentions are in Egyptian texts that place him among the nomads of the southern Transjordan.[5] In the oldest biblical literature he is a typical ancient Near Eastern "divine warrior" who leads the heavenly army against Israel's enemies;[6] he later became the main god of the Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) and of Judah,[7] and over time the royal court and temple promoted Yahweh as the god of the entire cosmos, possessing all the positive qualities previously attributed to the other gods and goddesses.[8][9] By the end of the Babylonian exile (6th century BCE), the very existence of foreign gods was denied, and Yahweh was proclaimed as the creator of the cosmos and the true god of all the world.[9]

Self-Healing

My journey to healing has been very educational. I have learned the concept of self-parenting.
Having taken 3 parenting classes, I understand how to parent in a non-damaging way. Do I succeed every day at this with myself? No. But I forgive myself and move on, giving myself grace in my humanity. I see myself, and others as spiritual beings having a human experience. That people are just other selves, that we are all one. We are a collective consciousness, but we are suffering from ages of indoctrination that we are nothing but demented, evil-ridden beings. We are sovereign entities.

I struggle with self-care and feeling love for myself, I always have. I can practice love towards others, kindness and compassion, because I have empathy and I respect the spirit of other human beings. I can be spiritual all on my own without any deity as a middle man.

The lie that we are taught through religion is that we have "a god shaped hole". I disagree.
While humans may have been designed to worship by entities that chose to influence our evolution, as we read in the books of the Annunaki, hear in interviews with beings that are different than ourselves, and from years of collective research into the most sacred ancient texts from ever culture on the planet, we have the capacity to evolve.

Many humans have begun to realize that there is freedom outside of indoctrination, that the religious conditioning that we have been subject to first in Sumer, then Egypt, then Rome, and then in the 17th century, is something that we can overcome.
The teachings of Buddhism are not detrimental to the personhood of humans, and I see it as a spiritually healthy taught practice, but the goal is the same, to have a better afterlife through practices based on ancient teachings and texts. I think that it should be called The Teachings of the Buddha, rather than categorized as a religion, but with atheism be classified as a religion, apparently that is what our society needs to label a specific idealogy.

The concept of zen is a great product of this ideology, and it is the least harmful practice of teachings for something that many people lack-enlightenment. There is no god in this religion, but a living out of the Dharma- cosmic law and order. Many people can benefit from the main tenants of what the Buddha shared. I personally benefit from meditation.

Secular Spiritual Self-Care

How does one even do that?!
Simple, by honoring one's self.
This requires getting to know yourself. Getting to know one's core self requires courage. There is no dishonesty allowed in looking into the deepest corners of our minds, to analyze the origins of our personal belief systems, and to not live in self-judgement, but operate in self-forgiveness.

We make the best possible choices that we can with the knowledge that we have at the time. As we grow, we learn and we make different decisions. We have the capacity to be in a constant state of growth and a journey of self-enlightenment.

I personally have had to exorcise the negative beliefs that I had about myself, and I am still doing that whenever I have a negative thought or feeling. I focus on the origin of what is bothering me and assess what I can learn from the experience.

I practice mindfulness, and I have a therapist who keeps me accountable in my behaviors, views, and practicing mindfulness. I have read The Four Agreements.

I have studied scientifically founded wellness practices that help my being. Essential oils, energy work, binaural beats & tones, stones, yoga, I practice my hobbies, meditation, hydration, and a diet that is mostly plant based. I spend time alone with myself, I write, and I walk out my thoughts.

May you find your path on your journey of self-discovery.

Namaste

Amy







Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Crazy Sustainable Solution

There two major issues facing many Americans today; homelessness and nutritional food.

The typical response to seeing a homeless person is one of judgement and disgust.

"Why don't they just get a job?!"
"There is Community Action, why aren't they utilizing programs aimed to help the community?"
"If they are a homeless veteran the government should be taking care of them."

I have been homeless 10 times since my ex-husband left me when I was 11 weeks pregnant. I understand first hand what it is like to be afraid of being on the street. My reason for having such a rocky road has been a lack of savings, health issues, job loss, and bad landlords.

Having experienced life in shelters and motels, I can tell  you that every program that I have been in has been a temporary solution. I had to start working to be able to afford to pay rent to have a home. Even transitional housing programs are temporary. Free rent is something that is unheard of...until now.

An Unconventional Housing Solution

The tiny home movement has been gaining momentum. Unfortunately there is a barrier that prevents the housing to be free. The tiny home communities/villages that have sprung up still require inhabitants to pay rent. And purchasing your own tiny home will cost around $35,000.

I was inspired to design a few tiny home models based on an article about pallet homes. A website called http://www.jetsongreen.com/ with a video about building pallet houses.

                        
A pallet is 48 inches by 40 inches and about 6 inches wide. There is room for plumbing hoses, wiring, and soy foam for insulation.
One of the pallet homes that I designed has a wrap around porch. The interior measures 6 by 6 pallets, or 364 x 364 feet for a total of 564 square feet. Since one side of the home will have 40 inch pallets 2 inch wooden boards will be added between the pallets to fill in gaps.

 


This is a basic rendering of the first floor. The living room area can hold 2 shiatsu mats/beds, after the papasan chairs are moved. 
I propose having wooden trunk-like boxes for shiatsu mats that are 60 inches wide and 80 inches long, or 5 feet by 6.6 feet. They are perfectly accommodating for tall people, or parents that co-sleep with their children.

This is a basic rendering of the top floor. Imagine sliding doors for the rooms.

For bathing I designed a bathhouse, again with sliding doors.



Building a prototype will be necessary of course. Once assembly has been mastered, those that are able of the homeless population can help build additional eco-cabins.



Sustainable Nutritional Food



It all comes down to well planned gardens. This design is 10 pallets by 16 pallets. The blacked in areas are garden beds. This design is a total of 768 square feet, and that doesn't take into account any hanging items.



Utilizing clever methods, like using products that nutrify the soil such as HUMAX, planning companion gardening, introducing night crawlers, and other natural measures. 

Netting for protection from deer, elk and birds would be necessary. A pallet fence with gates would be a safe and clever way to keep children and the developmentally disabled from wandering into the garden. Of course a tool shed will be in order.


There are 84 cabins and 41 bath houses. The lodge can act as emergency shelter with hanging canvas dividers, that can be hung up.
There is space for 48 individual sleeping areas with shelving for personal items. A male and female restroom has been designed, with consideration of editing the model for a family restroom.
The outer porch area of the lodge allows for pop up tents and sleeping bags for the months with nicer weather.


Elon Musk has just recently shared that he will be selling solar roof tiles http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/tesla-to-begin-selling-solar-roof-tiles/ar-BBAYTAn?ocid=spartanntp


Brass Tacks


Land that is zoned for residential construction will have to be donated or purchased.
At least one well will have to be drilled.
Sewage tanks will have to be installed.
Small water heaters for the cabins will have to be purchased.
Copper piping
Electrical wiring
Soy foam insulation
Screws
Power tools
Rain water collection bins
Black landscaping tarp
Nails
Hammers
Water sealant

Connect with me  via email to inquire about how to contribute     --->

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Benefits of a Service Animal for PTSD Sufferers

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), under Titles II and III, a service animal is any dog specifically trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability.



You may think that having an autoimmune disease, mental health issues and PTSD, that owning a dog is an unnecessary expense and an overwhelming responsibility. The responsibilities really are not that energy consuming, and food is affordable. I have the self-discipline to maintain a savings account. 



I read articles, saw on TV, and watched YouTube videos about other veterans that have found great therapeutic benefits from having service animals, mostly dogs.
I was skeptical. My first attempt at adopting a dog from a pound did not turn out well. The dog had been apparently abused by males and was aggressive towards males. He muzzle butted my son in the face and I had to rehome him.



Then came the rescued Chihuahua who was supposed to be my son's dog, but she bonded with me. So, I kept the very loving, needy, emotionally sensitive and cuddly pup for 4 years. She developed separation anxiety to the point where she could not be left alone for an hour with out hysterically barking, and I am gone 10 hours a day working. She now lives with a retired couple who have another dog that is best buds with Melina, the Chihuahua.



The Choice To Try Again



After being completely alone for a few days I felt a void and depression descending. I considered the benefits of trying again to have a genuinely beneficial service animal.



Exercise; anxiety prevention.
Walking is great for the brain as well as the body.
I had been afraid to go alone to the beach. As a result of lack of activity, and the combination of the weight gain side effects of my fibromyalgia medications, my weight had ballooned to 210 pounds. That made me depressed.



Companionship; combat depression, prevent isolation.
My current schedule of working graveyard has me not socializing or going much of anywhere. Having a dog invites other dog owners to chat.



Confidence; reinforcement of faith in myself & capabilities
Being calm and gentle is my natural state when interacting with animals. Training requires patience.



I decided to search for a more suitable canine companion. I found Ranger at the Multnomah County Animal Control shelter. He was named Bumper and he was the quietest dog in the shelter. I was impressed.
A staff member named Jordan was extremely helpful in describing to me the dog's psychological and behavior profile. When we visited outside Ranger was interested in the other dogs and behaved well on a leash. He was antsy.
I had a good feeling about him and I went through with the adoption.



Day 1
Ranger slept in the backseat on the way home. Even though I had been awake all day and had to work the graveyard shift that evening, I took him for a walk on the beach, three blocks away. He pulled on his leash and I had to tell him to heel.
I'm definitely going to be transitioning to a harness and a retractable leash once I have the wiggle room in my budget.
I put a very soft blanket, a teddy bear, and a rawhide bone in his kennel and put him in there while I was at work. I worried that my neighbor would tell me that she heard him.



When I got home he was very patiently sitting in his kennel. No crying or barking. Sigh of relief. He got super excited to be out and even more excited to go on a walk. He just loses it when I grab his leash! He pulled on the leash again and I reminded him to heel.



We encountered a man working on a near apartment complex and Ranger ignored him. I felt a flutter of anxiety and then took Ranger's cue and walked on the street going around the man.



As we were leaving the beach and heading onto the trail back to the street another dog owner. We allowed the dogs to sniff each other, and then all of a sudden they were growling and going at each other. Ranger's leg had become entangled in the other dog's leash. The man confessed that he had adopted his dog 2 weeks prior. I guess his dog needs some work with socializing with other dogs.



Ranger wanted to run, but it was day 1 and I was not sure that we had enough of a bond to the point where he could be off leash and come back to me.
When we got home Ranger slept with me on my bed. When I woke he promptly pottied without any delay. When I got ready to leave and told Ranger to get in his kennel he laid down on the couch, I couldn't help but laugh. I picked up his 50 pound self and helped him into his kennel.



Day 2
I came home and it was raining. I put on a coat with a hood and took Ranger for a walk that extended to the beach. He did not pull on his leash! We had a fun walk and even played in the surf. I realized that I felt safe and didn't have any concerns of someone running up behind me, because I had a 50 pound dog with me. Ranger appears to be a cross between a brindle pit-bull and a German Shepherd. He is very mellow and friendly.



On our way back home a gentleman stopped his truck on the street to allow us to cross in front of him. It was a very nice gesture and I felt proud to be with Ranger.



When we got home I gave Ranger a new rope bone to play with and we had a great time playing tug-of-war. I then sat on the couch while I decompressed looking at Instagram.  Ranger was happy to lay next to me. He even had his head and paws on my lap until that position became uncomfortable to him. I snapped some pics of him. I took a sudden deep breath and Ranger raised his head to look at me. I assured him that I was OK. I got up to take my meds and he followed me into the kitchen.



I did some stretching and yoga. I was in doing cat cow and Ranger was running in circles around me. I then went to a forward stretch of my legs sitting and he walked between my legs to get some affection. I got an alert on facebook and got sucked into that. I looked up after a few minutes not seeing Ranger in the living room,so I went to my room. He was waiting for me on my bed, like "It's bed time."



This morning while I was sitting at my dining room table Ranger came up and enjoyed some attention. He then went and got his raw hide bone and was engrossed in playing with it by tossing it around and then chewing on it. This is a good sign. Ranger has become more relaxed and affectionate. When he first arrived at my place he would pace back and forth. I am so happy to see him playing and behaving like a regular dog.



Is My Service Animal Actually Benefiting Me?

As I was on Instagram and I saw a post about a service animal and something caught my attention. The author described some of the benefits of having a service animal being an increase in self-confidence, more attention to self-care and an improvement in mental health.

I sat and thought about how I had been impacted by the shy dog who had been in a shelter for 2 weeks and before that had been as stray, abandoned by his owner. Ranger is microchipped, so the shelter staff contacted the owner to let them know that they had found his dog. The man did not want Ranger back, citing that he was "very fearful and timid". Makes me wonder how he was treated with that owner...

I speak to Ranger in a very natural manner and I pet him as he lets me. He is warming up to me; nudging me with his muzzle to get my attention so I'll pet him, and him even checking on me when I go to the restroom. He is my shadow, following me from room to room and is happy to lay on the floor next to me when I am at the table. He has been taught not to lick but I have gotten a kiss out of him. It warms my heart to see him thrive. I am witnessing the transformational power of love.

I feel that it is an honor to have an animal trust and love you.

Ranger fills a spot in my heart that I didn't know was empty. My self-confidence has been boosted. I suffer from low self-esteem due to childhood trauma. I feel more capable somehow.



Just like a child, dogs need routine and structure. I have been struggling to get a routine down since working graveyard. I have discovered that I am more prone to get tasks done before I go to bed, rather than when I wake up before work. Feeding Ranger reminds me to eat. Getting Ranger water reminds me to drink water. Walking is great self-care and now I have a reason to every day.


My mental health has been impacted positively. Being alone is not a good thing for me to be, I perseverate on the dynamics of my life right now. I feel empty, sad, lonely and I focus on how much I miss my son, then even more feelings come. So, being with Ranger helps me to be more present. Having him near me, resting my arm on him is relaxing for both of us.

The science of why having a dog is beneficial to a human has to do with bioelectromagnetism. The human heart, not only has brain-like tissue, but serves as an electromagnet generating a bioelectromagnetic field.

I was not able to find any articles about the effects on humans of a dog's electromagnetic field. Dogs have good energy and their hearts produce an bioelectromagnetic field which produces negative ions, just like every other creature with a heart organ. This compliments our own electromagnetic field in a healthy way, the bioelectromagnetic feedback, soothing and relaxing the central nervous system. Blood pressure has been measured to lower around the presence of a good size dog.

Where Can Service Animal Gear Be Obtained From?

I have got my gear from petjoyonline.com 
They are affordable and items ship in a timely manner. An Access Tag is only $6.99 and vests start at $39.99 and harnesses at $51.99, depending on which you prefer. They carry tiny to large sizes.

The only time that I ever had an access problem was at a church with my Chihuahua. She had been overwhelmed and took a pooh on the floor amidst a room full of children. The elders of the church initially told me that I could not bring her with me. Rather than cite the laws protecting service animals for the disabled, I appealed to their human nature and had them acquiesce to allow me to bring her if I kept her off the floor.

Now, if I had an issue with access I would call the Department of Justice, church or not. I have gone through a lot of personal development, therapy and growth, and I no longer see religious organizations in the same light.

The most annoying thing that I have experienced is when people ask me, "What service does your dog provide?". This is the only question that allowed to be asked of an individual with a service animal. I answer, "I have PTSD, he keeps me calm." Simple as that. I don't have to go into my list of diagnosis; anxiety, panic attacks, depression, etc;

Final Thoughts

It is not a sign of weakness to require a service animal to assist you with getting through life. Keep in mind that the temperament of a dog is something that you need to pay attention to. If you  are looking at shelters for a prospective service animal there are some things that you need to be aware of, age, temperament, socialization (gets along with) with other dogs and leash behavior.

A dog that is young and has high energy may not be the best fit for you, whereas a more docile dog makes a better companion in public. Dogs 2 and under are still in their puppy phase and will require a lot of patience, repetition and more work overall.

Training is not difficult. The right dog will adapt to your needs, it's pretty incredible. Treats are very important for rewarding good behavior. I don't focus on behavior when I am letting Ranger out of his kennel and getting his leash on, he is too excitable then. He is more receptive after his walk. Regular exercise is crucial for building a healthy relationship with your dog. If you cannot walk any distance from home, then a smaller dog may benefit you best.

KENNEL training is very important. My dog has 2 bones and a teddy bear in his kennel. Granted, if he were left alone at home he may only lounge on the couch, chew on his bone and be perfectly quiet, but he may behave differently as well. I don't want to come home to find my sofa or chair chewed on, the carpet soiled, my neighbors complaining, or scratch marks on a closed door. So, my fur baby is in a kennel while I am away.

It is not mean to have your canine companion in a kennel. It provides security to the dog and peace of mind for you. Kennel training produces more grounded dogs and can be used for a "time-out" should your dog exhibit unacceptable behavior. For more tips on training your dog I recommend anything by Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer. He has books and more on his website https://www.cesarsway.com

I hope that you found my input here helpful. Feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts and experiences!

Namaste,
Amy