For a wound to heal… you don’t keep touching it, picking at it or scratching it. It’s common sense, right? So… why do we keep doing it to ourselves?
Yesterday night, I realized that I’ve been way too hard on myself when it comes to getting past old wounds and insecurities. I saw that most of my stress and struggle were not because going through so-and-so emotion or challenge was so difficult. It was because of my incredibly stress-inducing reaction to every new dis-ease coming my way.
Here’s an extreme example of such a reaction:
“What’s this emotion now? Where is it from? OH, not those daddy issues again? I thought I was over that! Is there something else I don’t know? Maybe I should buy this book about abandonment issues. Maybe I should go meditate and dig some more into past traumas… or maybe past lives! Or maybe i’ll just go eat a whole bag of chips and 2 chocolate bars. Actually… I’ll just go post a meme about it. With my bag of chips and chocolate.”
“What happens when you begin to feel uneasy, unsettled, queasy? Notice the panic where you instantly grab for something.” – Pema Chödrön
It seems that many philosophies in the spiritual/personal development realm are all about endless psychoanalysis of our emotions and digging into ten thousand “hows” and “whys” — all aiming at explaining why we feel a certain way. I’m not saying there isn’t value in understanding the roots of our wounds. Actually… it is a must! But once you’ve touched it, once you’ve fully seen it and felt it… you don’t need to keep touching it. You don’t need to keep poking at it further whenever there is a little flare up, or fuel it with a hundred more stories about why you are so wounded still. You can just LET. IT. BE.
This is something I am basically just learning now. Having a strong and stubborn intellect, I’ve always been into “trying to figure it all out”. Trying to fix things with my head. But there is a time and place for putting the mind at use, and there is a time and place for simply allowing ourselves to be as we are; present, open and gentle with ourselves.
You don’t intellectualize your way into loving and being there for a child, for example. You don’t read books about psychology to a kid that simply needs you to be there and hold their hand. In the same way, we sometimes just need to BE there for ourselves, without saying anything. Without trying to fix anything or talk ourselves out of whatever we may be feeling. Sometimes, to heal, we just need to be there, and that’s it. And I don’t mean curling into the foetus position and cry a river because “we should throw ourselves into a dramatic purging process every time an emotion says hi.” You can do that if it feels natural to you, but where I am getting at is that shifting from one state to another can also be accomplished with the lightest of touches, as my wise friend Kosta Stoyanoff would say. With a gentle acknowledgment of what you are feeling, a smile of compassion, and a willingness to continue moving forward even if you aren’t feeling “perfect” yet.
“As long as our orientation is toward perfection or success, we will never learn about unconditional friendship with ourselves, nor will we find compassion. ” ― Pema Chödrön
See, the only reason I’m writing this blog right now is because last night, I’ve decided to put the cellphone and distractions down for a few hours and just be there with what I’m feeling. I recognized my anxious feelings of not “being enough” and of this moment not “being enough” as products of an old train of thought that has never before led me to a happier and more fulfilled space anyways. So instead of treating it as this big ol’ monster requiring 10 more hours of psychoanalysis and anxious “figuring things out”, I simply let it be. I sort of said “Hey, I recognize you. You can stick around or whatever, but I’m just going to feel this out and not listen to your suggestions of finding yet another way to run away. I will just stay here and be okay in this moment with myself.”
Doing this shifted me out of this overwhelming fight-or-flight mode and provided me this single insight that I swear is going to be a game changer for me from now on. I already feel more relaxed. I already feel like I can move forward and be a better friend to myself. Growth doesn’t have to be a constant battle with yourself. It can be a wonderful, supportive relationship between your mind and soul. This is what I want to build my life on. No wonder I’ve been struggling with internet addiction, attention-seeking, sugar cravings and distraction binges lately. I’ve been beating myself up for it wondering what’s been wrong with me… but the truth is ANYONE would want to escape from the stressful and pressuring relationship I’ve been having with myself. It is even understandable that my poor mind would want to take a break from myself with food, social media newsfeeds or whatever else can take my mind off the bully inside of me. But that bully is me. It’s always been me against me. The beautiful thing though… is that it can also be me supporting me. Me loving me. Me being patient, kind and gentle to me. We all hear and say that we need to be more kind, gentle and loving people… no reason this shouldn’t apply to ourselves. 🙂
“The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.” ― Pema Chödrön
I believe that being more gentle and easy with our internal ebbs and flows is what provides us the perfect environment and space to actually heal and flourish. It’s kind of like providing a child with the love, patience, wisdom, care and space he or she needs to thrive and grow into the best version of themselves. You don’t punish a child for falling down when they are learning how to walk. You don’t ignore them or run away in fear either. You understand that they are just calibrating their balancing muscles and are learning as they go. Growing as a human being is also a process of learning as we go; a natural one. You don’t grow a flower by pulling on it. You simply give it sunlight and water and let it flourish at its own space. You can’t control your own or anyone else’s growth, you can only support it.
Would you rather have a controlling or a supporting friend? A controlling or a supporting parent? If you’re like me, you probably resonate with the latter. So let’s go ahead and be what we seek. 🙂
“There are more than enough voices in this world that will weigh you down by telling you that you are “not enough” of something or other… Don’t let yours be one of them.” – Kosta Stoyanoff
These Old Grain Silos Were Converted into A Unique Farmhouse
(TMU) – After 30 years, John and Judi Stuart decided to put the fast pace and bright lights of Las Vegas behind them. Searching for a change in pace, they bought 82 acres of farmland in Yamhill County, Willamette Valley, Oregon. Complete with a ranch house and three storage silos, the Stuarts had several ideas of what to do with the charming property and finally settled on one idea, turning Abbey Road Farm into a bed and breakfast – and that’s exactly what they did.
Instead of starting from scratch, they used what was already on the farm, in this case it was three grain silos, and transformed them into several guest bedrooms and an event center, with amazing results!
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John spent his childhood in the countryside of England and other parts of Europe, and life was simple. When the couple visited Oregon, John realized that was where he wanted to live for the rest of his life.
Abbey Road Farm felt right to the Stuarts, as if it was waiting for them, and they sealed the deal on the property in March 2003. That was the easy part, the next step was to get the business licenses and necessary permits in place.
The farm already had viable land for crops, and had two acres of orchids and Queen-Ann cherries and there was already a charming ranch house, with three round grain-storage silos behind the house.
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First, they started renovating and overhauling the ranch house, now, it’s part of the Bed & Breakfast and doubles as an events center, with the renovation of the silos next.
Turns out Yamhill County, where they live, did not allow silo conversions into living spaces, but John was not about to give up on their plan and worked tirelessly with the planning committee to seeking solutions on what was possible to do, which ultimately led to him securing approval for the silo conversions.
B is for the Silo Suites B&B! Three grain silos house 5 gorgeous suites that can be rented year round. The perfect…
Although the silos kept their outer metallic covering, the interiors are furnished with a modern Victorian style and offer every modern convenience a traditional B&B has. The central silo has a living room downstairs and a guest room upstairs while the two outer silos each have a guest bedroom on each floor.
The Silo Suites lobby offers the perfect hang out/gathering place! Complete with a coffee and water station, mini…
Did you know…each of the 5 suites in our Silo Suites Bed & Breakfast has it’s own bathroom? Complete with a jacuzzi tub, separate shower, heated floors and towel rack! Come stay with us!
The outer space of the ranch house and the lower floor has been converted into a luxurious events center, with more guest rooms added upstairs, and finally, the water treatment building was converted to a shed for their farmyard materials and equipment.
The Abbey Road Farm bed and breakfast immediately became a landmark in Yamhill County and opened tourism opportunities in the community. Guest typically spend a week or more at the B&B enjoying the fresh air, long walks, beautiful views and the Oregon wines.
The Stuarts has also cultivated fescue grass seed on 60 acres of the farmland. Willamette Valley is globally popular for the production of grass seed and they also produce their own goat milk, cheese and other products from a small herd of goats on the farm.
Good news: The Abbey Road Farm tasting room was opened on the 15th of May under strict COVID-19 protocols. Please click the link to check dates, times and current regulations before visiting!
Dad’s Honest Review of His Daughter’s ‘Restaurant’ Goes Viral
(TMU) – Supporting the businesses in your community is the right thing to do, which is exactly what dad Chris Kyle recently did. Chris decided to have lunch at a new establishment, very new and very nearby. Right in his own home in fact, at Ava’s Kitchen!
Chris’ daughter Ava, owner and cook, was delighted to welcome a customer and showed him to the best table in the house, decorated with balloons and with a full view of the kitchen, from where he could watch his meal being prepared by Ava.
After finishing his lunch, Chris wrote an honest and objective review for Ava’s Kitchen on his Instagram account. Not only did he thank Ava for the lovely meal, he also mentioned the cleanliness of the establishment but was disappointed that he had to wait much longer than expected for his lunch but, on the positive side, felt sure the service would improve with experience. People loved this dad’s amusing tale recounting lunch at Ava’s and the awesome relationship between the two. Not surprisingly, the post went viral quickly.
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So I tried to support another Black Owned Business for lunch today. It’s called Ava’s Kitchen, just opened end of April. It’s a very clean establishment, but whewww let me tell you about this owner. First off, I asked why there are balloons on my chair, and it’s not my birthday? She talm’bout, mind yah business; those are Mommy’s. I been waiting on my order to get done for 45 minutes, and I’m the only customer here. She was making good progress at first, then she stopped for 20 minutes to go watch Paw Patrol. Overall the customer service could be better, but the cook is a cutie; so I’ll give her another chance. Let’s not give up on Black businesses so fast after one mistake. 💕
Chris’s captured his daughter’s personality perfectly. “Ava’s personality is absolutely amazing,” he told social media. “She is such a silly girl. From the moment she wakes up, she’s laughing, smiling, and playing the entire day.”
The duo spend usually spend their days together from sunrise to sunset. Chris explained: “As a full-time entrepreneur, I work from home which allows me to be hands-on with my baby girl daily.”
According to Chris, he was not that keen on getting the play kitchen for Ava at first, admitting that, “When my wife made the purchase, I was hesitant about spending a few hundred dollars on it.” Of course he changed his mind once he saw just how much Ava enjoyed playing with her kitchen. “It has been worth every penny. Ava is the star of her own little world when she is ready to play.”
Chris has been overwhelmed by the loving and encouraging response to their now viral post. “During these tough times, I’m glad to see our post shine bright in the lives of people around the world.”
More info: Instagram
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The Bizarre Story of the Blue-Skinned Family From Kentucky
(TMU) – The Fugates, a blue-skinned family from the hills of Kentucky has attracted and baffled scientists for generations, although their condition has now been explained as being caused by the disease Methemoglobinemia, which can make a person’s skin blue.
Members of the family are descendants of Martin Fugate and Elizabeth Smith who lived in Hazard, Kentucky around 1800. Both of them were carriers of the recessive methemoglobinemia (met-H) gene, and coincidentally, so was a nearby clan who had members that married and had children with Fugate descendants. Many of the children who have been born in this bloodline were born with met-H and had a blue skin color.
The Fugates and their condition was not known to researchers until the mid 20th century when a nurse named Ruth Pendergrass, along with the hematologist Madison Cawein III, made a detailed study of their ancestry. At the time, the family was living around the area of Troublesome Creek and Ball Creek in Kentucky.
Cawein treated the family with a substance called methylene blue, which he said eased their symptoms and reduced the blue coloring of their skin. He later published his research on the family and their ancestry in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 1964.
The last known descendant of the Fugate bloodline to be born with blue skin is Benjamin Stacy, who was born in 1975. It is said that his blue skin tone faded as he grew older, but he retained that complexion for most of his life.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the Fugates dispersed from their home region, and as a result the family gene pool became much more diverse, thus decreasing the chances that this recessive gene will return.
Dr. Ayalew Tefferi, a hematologist from Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic, says that this is an incredibly rare condition that is not usually seen in real life.
“You almost never see a patient with it. It’s a disease that one learns about in medical school and it’s infrequent enough to be on every exam in hematology,” Tefferi told ABC News.
Inherited methemoglobinemia is a rare condition, but there are a few other people who have been diagnosed with the condition. It is believed that some of these patients could have been Fugate ancestors, but searches for direct links have proven inconclusive thus far.
In addition to blue skin, Methemoglobinemia can also cause a variety of other symptoms including headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, poor muscle coordination. Complications from the condition may include seizures and heart arrhythmias.
This condition is not always inherited either, and can sometimes be caused by environmental factors, including medications, chemicals, or food. In fact, most cases of this condition are acquired and not inherited.
In 2008, a blue-skinned man who came to be known as “papa smurf“ made headlines after his skin color changed as a result of consuming too much home-made colloidal silver.
Methemoglobinemia can also arise in patients with pyruvate kinase deficiency due to impaired production of NADH, the essential co-factor for Diaphorase I. Similarly, patients with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency may have impaired production of another co-factor, NADPH, according to Wikipedia.