I have never been healthy

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That is really hard to admit.  I figured it out a couple years ago and am just now able to say it publicly.  I was a strong and active child so I didn’t really put 2 and 2 together until an introductory course on Ayurveda during my yoga teacher training program. Why do I say that I have never been healthy?  I was born with what my mother called “cradle cap” which I would later learn was the skin condition psoriasis.  An early warning sign of things to come that no one understood at the time.

My earliest memories include guarding an orange thermos on our move to Germany that contained the allergy shots my mother had to learn how to administer to me and undergoing a number of urinary tracts tests that I was too young to understand.  My mother used to tell the story that I had every childhood disease possible including Scarlet fever by the age of 2.  I have no clue how true that statement was but it was a “family tale” that was recounted again and again, right along with the tale of how I was the ugliest child ever.  Apparently everyone thought so, and the first pictures taken of me were at 3 months when my Dad was leaving for the war in Vietnam. I was cute then but I also had a full head of hair so the evidence was likely hidden. I’m not sure why it took me so long to put that story together with the scalp psoriasis, but a little over year ago after an intense personal ritual experience, I came to realize that the ugliness was likely just psoriasis and no one was comfortable talking about imperfections.

Why am I talking about this now?  Well as you will come to find out my health has had to become a greater priority in my life.  It is a long story, I am 48 years old after all and we are only a few years in!  There is much to tell to lay the foundation to be able to make sense out of what is going on now.

I have to slow down and feel the need to share my story.  I am learning that healing myself also gives me an opportunity to put my money where my mouth is. An opportunity to stand proud and be myself, to put myself first so I can be there for others. I have coached and advised others for many years to help them understand their journey, heal themselves, uncover their gifts and live more enriching lives.  And to be honest ending up in the hospital a couple of weeks ago certainly was a wakeup call!  For many years now I’ve received guidance during meditations and rituals that I would be called upon to tell my story one day. I believe that day is here.

 

Let’s start with a health overview of diagnoses & health issues over the years: (in order to the best of my memory)

-Cradle Cap (scalp psoriasis)

-Tubes in my ears, tonsils out & all childhood diseases possible including Scarlet Fever by the age of 2

-Allergies to many foods, household substances and some elements of nature treated with allergy shots starting some time before the age of 5

-Urinary tract issues

-I was active and clumsy so a number of sports injuries

-Pneumonia in the 4th or 5th grade

– Allergies continue to plague me but no more shots just prescription speed basically until I was a young adult and no longer had health insurance

-Diagnosed with Grave disease in 1993 early in pregnancy

-Psoriasis begins to show on skin outside of the scalp or head region

-Graves’ disease treated with radioactive iodine in 2001 which resulted in the need to take daily thyroid hormone replacement

-Diagnosed with high blood pressure

-Diagnosed with Psoriatic arthritis in 2004

-Bell’s Palsy in 2006 which resulted in total paralysis of the left side of my face for about 6 months

-Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2009

-Cataract surgery, both eyes, 2010 & 2011

-Diagnosed with LPRD (Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease) in 2016

-And a partridge in a pear tree!

(OK not really on that last one but several doctors have diagnosed my as “WEIRD” because my body so often does not react to their tests and medications in a way they consider normal)

 

*Phew* that was a lot.  Maybe it is time for a break.  That is one element of self-care that I am practicing; to know when to stop before I overdo it, to remember that there will always be more to do and be thankful for that instead of dreading it while allowing myself to stop when needed.

 

Stay tuned for more of my story to come, including:

  • How exactly to answer the question, “How are you?” when you’ve been sick all your life in invisible ways
  • Current testing and specialists visits with allopathic medicine (mainstream medical practices)
  • “Alternative” visits & treatments
  • Dietary & Lifestyles changes
  • Daily meditation, yogic and self-care practices
  • More health history
  • My work history and challenges while I investigate filing for SSI
  • My studies, practices & ritual work both Eastern & Western

Natal Gong

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My style of working with the gong has always been described using words like Grace, Love and heart centered.   So it is now wonder that my first gong’s name is  AnahaT’ai – which is a made up word combining the words for the heart chakra, Anahata and T’ai from the I Ching Hexagram 11, Peace.  I understand this name to mean “Heart at Peace”.  She has taught me so much.  My heart has grown and my style continues to evolve with each meeting.  She talks to me while I play her and I do my best to listen, ingest and understand.  This is all a part of my healing process and I have come to believe, a way I may contribute to the healing of others.  I’ve never been comfortable with the title of “Healer” or using the word “healing” to describe my work; yet sometimes no other words get closer.  I see myself as a conduit, something that allows for energy to move between things.  I hold and create sacred space well and I enjoy the more esoteric aspects of things.  I choose to listen to the signs that show up in my life as a form of communication between the divine aspect of myself and myself.  In doing so I could not resist all of the signs that have kept me moving in the direction of studying and working with sound and vibration; and yes “Sound Healing.”  In my studies I find things I still don’t quite understand about the science behind it all but I have felt and seen the effects in myself and others.  This study and this work has taught me how to “hear” and feel things from her and my now growing toolbox of other sound healing instruments.

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My darling Ana has been speaking to me of something that we are to call “Natal Gong”.  It has grown as I practiced with her and continued to study sound and expand my experience with Astrology, Mythology & Night Sky viewing.  I wouldn’t call myself an astrologer either but I am a ceremonialist and ritualist and I use astrology and planetary magick in my practice.  From this work has blossomed an idea, a way to use the wheel of one’s natal chart to inform intention – Natal Chart Gong.   Magick and Healing start with Intention, and I want to help people create magick & healing in their lives. I want to help them recognize, understand & utilize their powers of creation in their lives.

Anahata, heart chakra, wheel of energy where the above and below meet energetically and the place said to be the home of the cosmic sound and where the sound AUM starts from.  Combined with T’ai which speaks of harmony & peace and makes her the perfect tool to bring me this work, she is the one instrument I will use in these sessions.

Tai hexagram

T’ai – “The Receptive, which moves downward, stands above; the Creative, which moves upward, is below. Hence their influences meet and are in harmony, so that all living things bloom and prosper.” (from here)

 

All gongs are said to be “tuned to the sound of Aum” and when one is bathed in the vibrations of the gong the Universal Aum meets with your own personal Aum and that is where the work takes place.  Each living things has its own energy signature or Aum, it is what I think some people are referring to when they say “vibrational level”.

beth omPainting by Beth Morgan

I have learned that in sound healing things like harmonics, resonance and frequency all play roles. I have practiced at home, on myself, friends and loved ones and elicited feedback. I have been studying planetary sounds and the harmony of the spheres and it feel like time to take the next step.

It is time to offer this publicly. To that end I am extending an introductory offer to anyone who is willing to provide feedback and write me a testimonial after our session.  .

*EDIT* Post has been edited as the special price ran out long ago.

The regular price for Natal Chart Gong services is $125 which includes a 30 min. phone consultation minimum of two days before we meet for the hour and fifteen minutes natal gong session.

The phone consultation is to discuss intention and ascertain birth data or natal chart.  This consultation needs to be the day before our appointment at the latest so that I may prepare.  I can do the session either at my home temple, if you don’t mind dog hair or at your place so long as there is enough space for you to lie down and a few square feet for me to set up in.  We will want low lighting and quiet if possible.

 

Will Wave

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While listening to my favorite weekly astrology report, the Nuit Report, I hear Aepril Schaile say the most wonderful phrase to define how things have felt for me recently. She says, “Like being on a merry-go-round in a hall of mirrors” and I burst out laughing. Yes, that sums it up perfectly.

Funny thing is I have managed to keep a decent sense of humour about it this time around.  Stress has happened, tears have happened, it hasn’t always been easy lately but it certainly has been much funnier that this sort of thing used to be.  Which of course is to the point because IT IS different than how I would have handled things in the past. This was direct, experiential evidence of the changes and the healing that has happened within me over the past several years.

Yoga & Magick!

Seriously, yoga and magick are the tools I use to heal myself, consciously create and fully experience my life.

I am essentially the same and entirely different today & every day.

One of the results of that trip round the hall of mirrors, is it has became necessary to postpone the Owl Wisdom Women’s Workshop that was scheduled for today and though I am bummed it all feels right. We will be looking for new dates at our meeting later today. This means I get to keep working with Owl & her goddesses to prepare. Expect to see it offered again in the fall!

On the other side of that wheel, tomorrow I am initiating my most recent passion, that of working with my gongs and new singing bowls, by offering the inaugural “Sangha Sound Bath” in Mesa, AZ with my friend, Nimisha Tejani.

Here is a little information about it and a link to the event.

Sangha Sound Bath

A decade ago a friend bought me these tingshas, what I didn’t know then, that I do now is they were to be my first sound healing tool. It was during a very active time of Ceremonial Magick and Ritual in my life that I am just really starting to see what is happening now as the long term results of.

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The next step along this particular wavelength, or Will Wave, came at the end of my first Kundalini yoga class with Harpal in an ashram in downtown Phoenix. That is when I first experienced the gong.  I went back weekly for a couple of years, falling more and more under its spell each time.  Things at the ashram changed, classes there became no longer convenient for me and in about one year I found myself registered in full time yoga teacher training, on my way to a yoga therapist certification. Something I never actually thought I wanted to do.

As part of that training I took my first gong workshop to start learning how to work with this tool, this instrument.  That training was with Will Zecco and I during that weekend I heard truth. Truth in the silence after the sound, truth in vibration. It changed me or maybe it introduced me to me, on a deeper level than I’d previously known myself. Then another training and within a week of completing it I owned a 22″ wind gong and was hosting my first public gong event.  How that meditation came about was, I was asked to step in for someone else for their regular New Moon Gong Meditation.  As, I stood in awe of the offer, I began to hear my fiancé’s voice coming from my right, somewhere in the fog saying repeatedly, “just say, ‘yes please, thank’.”  The next thing I know I am saying it, “yes please, thank you”, I think I even said it a few times “yes please, thank you.”

Two years later as of next month, I have two gongs and two crystal singing bowls. I offer on average 4 different meditations, healings or sound baths monthly across this Valley of the Sun.  Whatever is happening here definitely feels like it is flowing in accordance with my Will; in the sense of Aleister Crowley’s 9th theorem, “A man who is doing his True Will has the inertia of the Universe to assist him.”

Inertia, the tendency of objects to keep moving in a straight line at constant velocity. These tools & opportunities have found their way to me with relative ease.

This work is changing me, healing me, inspiring me, fulfilling me.

Yoga & Magick

 

 

 

Ch, ch, changes…

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The times they are a changing!

We are well into May now and I have exciting things to share. Many areas of my life are experiencing beautiful growth. In light of that I’m making schedule changes to accommodate. I will be increasing my available hours for tarot, spiritual coaching & private nidra consultations each week overall, by pruning in one area to expand in others.

 

I am still available at Vision Quest on Tuesdays from 11am to 6pm (book appointments by calling the store at 480-949-1888). And I will also be available, starting in June, Thursdays & most Saturdays from 10am to 2pm and Mondays from 2pm to 8pm for Skype or phone appointments. You will be able to book & pay for your time through my website with the convenient new online booking system being added as we speak.  You’ll also be able to purchase gift certificates for yourself or others to be used at a later time.

My company 7 Magi ~ Designs for a Magickal Life, is also growing and changing. With more wholesale outlets and opportunities we are taking time to re-group and re-direct.  The website is being completely redone and is offline currently.  When it returns we will not only resume selling our candles online we’ll be debuting some fun new products.  Stay tuned for updates!

I am also pleased to announce an exciting collaboration with 2 beautiful & powerful women; Piperlyne Tomczyk and Sonya Stockhaus. Together we will facilitate a six hour workshop for women on Understanding & Invoking Owl Wisdom Saturday June 11th!

We are not done with the good news yet!

I also offer a Yoga for Strength & Flexibility class on Wednesdays from 6:30pm to 7:30pm at a private community center near the Scottsdale/Tempe border. This class is designed specifically to support individual & diverse bodies.  It is gentle in nature yet brings tougher strength building elements to the table as well. It is open to the public but you’ll need to email me at sondra7scott@gmail.com for specific location.  I offer a smoking deal for this class; $6 per class or $20 for a 4 class pass!

Last but not least my gong and sound therapy business is booming with private sessions available in my home temple or your home, as well as several regular monthly offerings! The lovely Emily and I are at Vision Quest first Fridays with Mantra, Meditation & Music of the Spheres. I’m at Fantasia Crystals one Sunday a month for Nidra Gong and then back at Vision Quest the last Friday of the month with my Gong Meditation & Vibrational Healing Journey.

Annnnd…I know it is a lot already isn’t it! but there are still other special appearances some months such as this month’s Vibe Out in Nature yoga and gong experience at the Usery Park Nature Centure with Nimisha Tejani on  Saturday the 21st. (all events listed with details on my event page)

Growth begets growth and a couple new tools have found their way into my sound toolbox, in the form of 2 crystal singing bowls! So look for more public sound bath therapy sessions to come!

My fiancé looks at me like I’m nuts most days with the amount of busy he sees happening in my sphere and I do understand how it must look from the outside.  However, for the first time in a really long time I feel like things are happening without much effort.  I am following the paths that are opening to me knowing they are the result of years of refinement within me and learning to understand and know my own Will.

There is joy in the work!  There is joy in the process! There is joy in the results!

With so many opportunities I hope to see all of you soon!

bowlPhoto credit Melissa Corter

(NOT MY ACTUAL BOWL, OR FOR THAT MATTER MY HAIRSTYLE ANYMORE, BUT IT IS A PICTURE OF ME WITH A CRYSTAL BOWL AND THAT MAKES ME HAPPY!)

 

Bright side of pain

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I love Monty Python, I’ve loved them since I was a wee one living on a British Army Base with my family and I have even had the pleasure of seeing Eric Idle sing “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” live at Universal Amphitheater many moons ago. It is one of my favorite songs and it really does sum me up pretty well, I am an optimist. I am. Not 100% of the time but really it is my preferred state, my go to, knee-jerk reaction; to look on the bright side of life.

I also live with chronic pain. Diagnoses over the years include psoriasis, graves disease, psoriatic arthritis & fibromyalgia. Managing my health and pain is a constant part of my life. I was sickly and also athletic as a child, clumsy and prone to injury. People have said I have high tolerance for pain my entire life. I don’t really think it matters, pain is personal and relative.

Having lived a life that includes self-examination for most of the adult years and not remembering much of my childhood, I have spent many years working out exactly when I began to “shut down” to deal with the pain. When I started doing it instinctually very young I used a broad paint brush and “numbed out” to all feelings. Through self-examination and my yogic & magickal practices I have learned to appreciate my ability to “numb” or “separate from” certain things. When I first learned I did it, it felt and was spoken about as a “bad” thing. It is honestly how I survive though. I allow the pain to exist in a place within the entirety of “myself” and yet not have to feel it all the time. Staying present enough to know when I’m moving too far away from the pain so I don’t “tune out” to the people and experiences in my life. This means that I do have pain, at least some every day.

Just this morning when I was finally able to build enough appetite to eat and on the second to last bite, I managed to move in such a way as to piss my most enlarged joint right the fuck off for a split second. In that hot stabby poker in my knuckle kinda way. It was brief and intense. And almost immediately I found myself in the space of knowing that I had to love my body’s ability to know when to send a sharp message. And I was thankful.   It brought tears to my eyes and I wept to release all of the hatred I have felt towards my body every time I heard, from within or without, that voice saying that numbing out was weak and hiding. It felt good. It felt courageous.

The bright side of my pain is that it is another way that my own divinity speaks to me; that the cliché of pain being a gift to remind us that we can feel is a cliché because it is truth.

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I shaved my head a week and a half ago, thereby ending five and a half years of dreadlocked hair. Here is a raw shot of myself this morning, no makeup, in pain and with stubble. I like the way I look. I like the way I feel. And you know what, I am in a good mood today. Really I have been all day. I’ve been productive and found inspiration from the efforts of loved ones. I am happy. I am not just looking on, I am living the bright side of life.

 

“Always look on the bright side of life
I mean, what have you got to lose
You know, you come from nothing, you’re going back to nothing
What have you lost? Nothing!
Always look on the right side of life….”

 

Causing change happens in the here & now

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It took me a long time in life to truly learn to be comfortable in the present. I still only accomplish it on occasions but those occasions are dramatically increasing in frequency. It is truly one of those the more you do it, the easier it comes and the more you find yourself there without having to make an effort, type things. Most who know me know that I believe we do have the power of creation in our lives. I’ve come to say over the years that our lives are a dance between fate & freewill and that we are each the “Creative Causal Principle” (or CCP[1] as I like to call it) in our lives. Well that power of creation, that freewill exists in the present, not the past & not the future. If we are to truly create the lives we want it makes sense to learn to live in the present. I’m not saying don’t plan for the future or spend any time in the past. I am saying that until one can learn to know themselves in the present, to know that they are reacting to present emotions and not past or future ones, one won’t really be consciously creating that future.

 

Have you ever considered that our emotions can really only be felt in the present? For example, my father passed away many years ago. When I miss him I feel it in the present, when I remember seeing his smile I can remember how good it felt at the time & I can choose to feel it again in the present or I can feel sad in the present from missing him or any other emotion but it doesn’t change how I felt in the past. Are you with me so far? Past memories exist in the past. It’s how I can be angry with someone one day and not another.

 

We can also feel excitement or fear or things about the future but we are feeling it now. Like every time I think of speaking in front of people and I get nervous or fearful but once I start talking that transforms into something else and my fear becomes a past emotion. Much like energy, emotions seem to be in motion.

 

This has been a theme with my clients and in my own experiences this week and it got me wanting to share my thoughts on the matter. I know my yoga & magickal practices have helped me to learn to recognize and find comfort in the feeling of being present. What type of things do you like to do to this end in your life?

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[1] For you Kabbalists out there, CCP enumerates to 120, have fun with that

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One of the many perks to offering tarot readings at Vision Quest is that we are sometimes booked to do tarot readings at parties. I’ve worked several to include, corporate holiday parties, graduation parties, birthday parties, retirement parties and now as of Friday night one “tarot release” party. What is a tarot release party, you might ask? In this case it was the opening night of a joint art exhibit called Psychic Space Twins in which one of the artists represented, Oliver Hibert, had designed a tarot deck. This event marked the release of the Major Arcana & pre-sales for the full 78 card deck available in February.  He is releasing the Major Arcana with a booklet that includes a substantial essay about the artist Pamela Colman Smith. Ms Smith was the illustrator on the Rider Waite Tarot Deck that is not only one of the best known decks around but clearly inspiration for this work.

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The essay is by the British writer and lecturer Caroline Wise. I love the fact that he decided to include this with the cards.  It brings attention to the original artist that many people still don’t know was even involved with the deck.

I had a very enjoyable time.  The people were nice & colorful.  Though I did not get much of a chance to look around at the exhibit as I was non-stop busy. The cards were fun to read with & quite talkative.  The artist even gifted me the cards I was working with that night.