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Crossroads: Beginnings of a Shamanic Journey…

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For those who know my spiritual path, you know it’s not an easy one.  Growing up Roman Catholic for almost 30 years, it’s incredibly hard to overcome the deeply rooted beliefs that you were taught over and over again, even though your soul was calling you onto a new journey.  After about 8 years of searching, I found my foundation within two belief systems: Celtic Druidism and Native American Shamanism.  Both paths actually resemble each other, so it was very easy for me to fall into this journey with much peace and content.  Yet, something didn’t feel right.  I still felt “called”…As a seeker, I naturally love to dive into research and educate myself on all the cultures and faiths of our world.  And with that came the lessons of sacred healing through the Earth.  Both in which Druidism and Shamanism utilize to its full potential.

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Over the course of the last several years, I have delved into education and research on sacred plant medicine and the ceremonies that are involved. Although I took many challenging turns in my own life, I have learned to understand that if you want your life to be truly blissful, one must recognize that life is not necessarily all about rules and power, sacrifice and pain, but joy and happiness, compassion and most importantly, respect.  How modern society today has corrupted the mind of the human to take on such anguish and suffering, all for the benefit of someone else’s gain.  Sure, I can easily sound like some crazy conspiracy theorist, but the truth is, I know what my heart, body, mind and soul tells me.  Conspicuous consumption of the world today is sincerely what drives the human race.  This is why there is hate and separation wherever we go.  Black vs. White, Church vs. State, Republican vs. Democrat, Man vs. Woman, Rich vs. Poor, so on and so on.  All we know is separation.  Separating things is easy for us because it gives us some order of substance to how we want to see our life go in a certain direction.  This, in my humble opinion, is why we are so messed up as a people.

But I digress…Let’s get back to what I wanted to talk about – Sacred Plants and the part they play in our lives.

Nestled deep within the jungles, canyons and valleys of some of Earth’s quietest tribal communities, lie the remedies of almost all the ailments in our world.  Most of us living in the “Western” world, we have submerged ourselves with so many chemicals, that our bodies have adjusted to the chaos going on inside each and every one of us.  Which puts many of us in a day-to-day survival mode.  Why in the hell are we doing this?

Let me ask you this: Are you happy?  Like truly, truly happy?  Can you honestly say you wake up every morning and have a euphoric sense of self-worth and purpose? That life is just truly this brilliant gift and you are strong and powerful enough to conquer everything thrown at you?

Of course not!  We don’t live in that kind of world!  Very few of us can say they do live this way.

But would you say if I told you, you COULD???

I totally believe this.  And I believe that one of the many secrets lie within the healing plants and natural medicines scattered over the world. They are out there to help us heal our emotional, psychological, spiritual, and yes, physical ailments that plague our bodies, minds and souls.  You don’t need to be in a religion or spiritual path to understand that our planet is pretty freaking awesome.  And we have yet to truly get into the heart of what our amazing planet can really do.

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Sadly, the powers that be who control the rules and regulations of the Western World truly regulate what the Western World is allowed to utilize in the terms of these “sacred plant medicines”.  Sadly, any plant that could somehow alter the mind’s perception is considered “dangerous”.  Even though these very plants are what heal the very illnesses that plague our world.  So, why are many of these sacred medicines outlawed in the 1st World?

Money.

Power.

Greed.

Sad, isn’t it?  That plants that have been researched to CURE things are not allowed in certain parts of our world, yet it is perfectly acceptable to combine a bunch of chemicals in some lab, feed it to animals for testing, then if it’s a go, allow the human race to consume it.  Yes, I know, it’s near impossible to try to corner a market of something indigenous to 3rd world countries or native tribal communities and make a 1st world profit.  And honestly, why WOULD you?  It’s one thing to accept donations coming from people who want to help keep the traditions going, rather than making a profit off of these sacred plants.  In that case, this can be completely unethical and disrespectful to the communities that make them a part of their daily lives.

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So, what do they do?  The powers that be “create” medicines made out of chemicals created in laboratories, to create similar “effects” of these natural medicines, so they can get a profit.  But, what happens, is that these very “medicines” that the pharmaceutical companies create end up having several times the severe side effects that may be more detrimental to the person’s original path to health and well-being.  And thus the cycle repeats itself until it results in a spiral of madness and chaos of the human body and mind.

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It’s more than just the plant medicines, though.  There are the ceremonies that are part of the consumption of them. As a devout believer in Mum Gaia (aka Mother Earth) and all the plants and flora she creates on this planet, it is with utmost importance we recognize that these plants are indeed, Sacred, and therefore should be given the respect and reverence of how we intake them.  This is why indigenous people of our lands and other communities around the world get so upset with us “white man” who tend to perverse what is Sacred to them by using these plants and ceremonies without the proper respect that needs to be given to those who originated them.  I don’t blame them at all for feeling like this, however, there HAS to be a time to stop the separation.  What the “white man” did to our Natives so long ago can never be rewritten or forgotten.  It’s part of our history and today’s society is proof that the pain still exists, and our privileges are still met before anyone else’s are.

THIS HAS TO STOP.

A few years ago I was introduced to the benefits of Kratom, Kava, and Sacred Blue Lotus.  These plants are part of my everyday life.  Because of their great healing effect, I no longer need depression or anxiety medicines.  Very rarely will I need something medicinally to help me sleep.  The properties of all these plants have the relaxing effect to help me fall asleep.  I suffer from chronic insomnia.  And Kratom, Kava and Blue Lotus help me to achieve going to sleep at night without any aid like Ambien. Every time I take them, I bless my cup, and pray for healing.

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(Me and my cup of Kratom Tea, and a bunch of Red Vein Kratom Leaves)

The frustrating part of this, however, is that many people look at these sacred plants as “drugs” or a”legal” way to get high.

So now this is the part where I’m going to drop some knowledge on the misinformed:

I am a 42 year old woman.  I have a husband, 2 children, a dog, a mortgage, car payments, and an incredibly busy life.  I think it’s an insult to my character if you want to make the assumption I use these beautiful and sacred plants to “get high”.

Plants are not drugs.  Shit that’s created in a laboratory?  Those are drugs.  Know the difference between the two and educate yourself before speaking, because sooner or later, these plants are going to come back full force as more and more people are waking up from the viscous cycle the pharmaceutical companies have us addicted to.

Another ceremony I learned about but never was able to participate in was a Native American Sweat Lodge.  One of the most powerful physical prayers a person can do, Sweat Lodges are also deeply rooted in many traditions outside our Native Americans.  Nordic Vikings and some communities in Africa are also knows to have these.  But it is through the Native American Sweat Lodge do most people come to an understanding with. Sadly, modern day New Age enthusiasts tried to make profits on these “Sweats”, and in 2009, an investigation was made in the wake of a death of a woman who died while in a Sweat Lodge. It was later confirmed that the organizer did not follow the rules of the Sweat Lodge, causing serious health concerns for the individuals who did survive, but who became very ill from that event.  This is why our Indigenous People here are so incredibly protective of their traditions, and become very angry at how they are irreverently used for profit, gain and power.  Many fake or “plastic” shamans, as the Indigenous People call them, are found on every corner preaching how to help you gain “consciousness” and “enlightenment”, all for a price so many people are desperate to pay.  And people don’t understand why are Natives get so insulted when these people give themselves “Indian” names?  These traditions, like the plants, are sacred to the people that have been practicing with for thousands of years.

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(Traditional Native American Sweat Lodge)

Several years ago, I was introduced to Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca is the sacred marriage of two plants.  The Mother Ayahuasca Vine, or Caapi Vine, and the leaves from the Chacruna tree. Now, I have never taken, nor been in ceremony with this beloved plant of South America.  Mainly seen in Peru and Ecuador, retreats from all over these two countries are popping up yearly, in assisting the population with the ongoing spiritual awakening the Earth is currently going through. Sadly, some of the original retreats are rarely seen, as larger, more spacious and luxurious retreats are now in demand, with some weekly retreats ranging from $1500-$4000.  What we find is the wealthier population or 1% having the ability to go on these retreats for their “awakening”, which isn’t bad per se, but leaves out a significant portion of our population unable to go because of the financial burden one must endure in order to participate.

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(Traditional Ayahuasca Ceremony in Iquitos, Peru.  Held at Blue Morpho, and run by Master Shaman Hamilton Sauther and Master Don Alberto Torres Davila – one of the exceptions to these retreats – although this is a very expensive retreat, it is probably the best retreat for Ayahuasca in terms of safety and emotional well being.  It’s not about the money for them – it’s about the respect of the medicine AND the safety of the people who come to take the medicine)

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(The Caapi Vine or Mother Ayahuasca)

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(A forest of Ayahuasca and a pot of the ingredients, Caapi Vine and the leaves of the Chacruna tree)

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(Finished Product – Ayahuasca Brew)

I found out about 11 years ago I had a calling.  A calling of Spirit to heal and to teach.  The very Shamanic energies rising from within get stronger every day.  How does a person like myself, a member of the 1st world, with no financial access, be able to bring these sacred plants to the people of my land, without disrespecting the indigenous people from where the plants originate from?  This is currently my quest to find out.

We all need to survive, but understand, we all will NOT survive.  We are not getting out of this life alive. There is no way around it.  So, how does one follow a calling where there is absolutely no way for me to answer?  These are the very troubles that plague my mind.

I have visions.  I have dreams.  Dreams involving camps and retreats not built to accommodate the person, but to accommodate the journey of the person.  I have this desire to bring the sacred plants and ceremonies to people who truly want to be a part of, with respect and reverence, divinity and compassion.  To help those on their journey to self-awareness.  The Shamanka in me is calling out, and she knows I hear her.  My goal this year is to be in ceremony to ask for aid in the sacred plants, and see what they are telling me to do.

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It is truly the only way I know how to best respect what they are here on Earth to do for us.

Earlier this week I had a dream.  A profound dream.  Involving dream catches and feathers, sage, drums and flutes. And something inside me called out to someone.  A friend I have not seen in over a year.  I felt compelled to tell her my visions, and sure enough, she is leading me to my first Sweat Lodge, which I now believe, is the beginning of my Shamanic Journey. I am at a crossroads once again, and this time my path is telling me to walk towards a specific road that no doubt, will be incredibly difficult, but will provide the necessary healing that I have tried so hard for 36 years to fulfill.

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I know now, this new journey will bring my total healing of all the traumas I faced as a child, a teenager, and as adult. It will also bring the necessary forgiveness I need not just for myself, whom I need to forgive, but for those in my past as well as current life, hurt me to my very core.  My journey has already begun by writing this.  I look forward to sharing with you all how it goes.  Aho.

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(Me – Ready for the Journey)

 

The Demon Within…

One of the biggest things I deal with during this particular time of the year is the big D.  Most people know what I speak of, and I’m sure many of you are sitting on the other side of your computer nodding in complete and utter understanding.

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Depression, as many know, is when a chemical imbalance in our brains result in a disruption of some-sort, creating a sort of chaos in our bodies that causes hopelessness. Most times, depression is the result of a tragedy a person experiences, whether it be a death, break-up, or any of loss of “something”….Sometimes, in my case, it could be just a simple explanation of the weather 5 feet from me.  It is one of my biggest struggles I face with in life, and every year I pray and pray that somewhere, somehow, this feeling of sadness would end.

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So, let’s talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)….

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It goes without saying that everyone, both of human and animal alike, NEED sunlight.  The vitamins coming from the sun gives off so much energy and a pulse of life itself, there is no wonder why people love to “Sun bathe”.  Sadly, for me, I’m a Celt by blood.  A mixture of Irish, English, Scottish, and German.  So, putting my pasty self outside for more than a few moments will cause my skin to scream.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t love to be out in the sun.  It’s why I am a morning person, so to speak…(I say that because during the Monday-Friday deal, I’m not really worth talking to in the morning, but that’s a whole other story LOL)

In the Northern Hemisphere, at the time of Litha, otherwise known as Midsummer or the Summer Solstice, the Sun is at his prime, beaming down with such veracity, it even finds the shadiest of places.  But sadly, after that prime day of days, the Sun begins its fall.  And within 6 months, the Sun, although still shining, does not have the luster and awe that we had just a few months before.  For many people, this time is the beginning of Winter.  And we start our slow climb back to the manifestation of the gifts the Sun gives us in the Spring and Summer.

So, during the time after the holiday and New Year season ends, there is a period of silence.  Nothing really happens until the next little break, which is Valentine’s Day.  And then, after that, is the Spring Equinox, Ostara, or as many know it to be, Easter.

What do we do during this period?  Well, for me, I kind of go crazy and start cleaning and regrouping my life, creating goals for the warmer weather to come, all while taking care of my mind, body and soul, who is sadly ill-at-ease over the lack of warm sunlight, growth and overall life.

It’s why I love living myself according to the Celtic Seasonal Calendar.  It makes sense for me, because I always was like a month early to prepare for each season/holiday.  In just a few weeks, MY Winter will be over.  On February 1st, I celebrate the feast day of St. Bridget, who holds the keys of the kingdom for my favorite Season: Spring.

February 1st in the Celtic Calendar is the Season of Imbolc (Pronounced IMM-OLCK).  It is the beginning of the Springtime, the time where our Mother Earth is stirring and beginning her slow process of “waking up”.  Just as we, each morning, open our eyes, stretch our arms and legs, and get reacquainted with the morning and the light, so does Mother Earth.  The soil, through its Winter hibernation, begins to warm up, allowing the seeds within the soil to take heed and blossom.  One of the greatest gifts we can get in the Early Springtime are Crocuses.  They are Mother Nature’s quiet little trumpets, usually peeking up within the snow and cold ground, alerting us all that warm weather IS coming back.  That is the beauty of this planet.  Of where I live.  We know Spring follows Winter.  It’s how life is.

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So, what do I do in the meantime?  Even as I type this out, on this lazy Sunday morning, I feel sad.  Sad because going outside would require me to bundle up because the air is SO cold, it would actually hurt my skin.  Make my eyes water.  Even the “smell” of life, is not there.

What makes me gaga over being outside?  Feeling the grass beneath my bare feet.  Smelling the seasonal flowers breezing through the air.  Seeing the magnificent trees, shrubs and bushes blossom with beautiful green leaves…In the Celtic myths, Autumn and Winter meant Jack Frost was out and about, dropping hints of frost and ice among everything alive, telling them it’s time to die or go to sleep….In the Spring and Summer Months, Jack in the Green is our go-to guy.  He is the one who warms the skies and the Earth, and instead of frost, we have beautiful droppings of dew.

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(one of MANY Jack in the Green Parades held every year in Europe)

This is what makes my pulse quicken, my heart smile and my soul beam.  Warmth, light….like Persephone feeling so out of touch down in the Underworld, where she could not use her Gift with the Living World, and patiently waited until it was time for her to go back up, and be among the Living again, to feel the warmth of the Sun on her skin…Yes, I feel the exact same way.

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Since going off all Depression and Anxiety medicine, and opting for my Kratom intake, I can honestly say it hasn’t been TOO smooth sailing.  Of course it would be easy for me to put some chemicals into my body and numb myself…but it would be a disservice to me to do so.  I know not everyone agrees with me on that.  I always welcome other’s opinions and ideas…it’s just…it’s not for me.  I’ve been very careful over the last several years to deal with my addiction to pain killers…and for someone like me who is always in some kind of pain, it’s an easy excuse for me to pop a pill and call it a day.

No, as much as times like these where I wish I had something to numb my physical and emotional pain of the Winter, I know that in the end, it helps me SEE who I really am, because I am completely bare and open to the senses entirely.  I feel things now more than I ever have.  So, yes, the depression sucks.  But I also know, that there are times I feel such immense joy, that knowing I wouldn’t even feel an inch of that when trying to control my depression with medicine, gives me the honest knowing that I’m doing the right thing.

Don’t get me wrong:  I think about taking something every day.  Even right now, I feel incredibly blue (Get it?  Winter “blues”?) and staring at the walls may be what I need right now to numb the sadness of the lack of life outside….

This depression began in 2001.  And slowly progressed as the years went on…Now that I am in the beginning stages of my body slowing down and turning into the Crone, I feel this even more.

How do I deal with it?  It’s a demon inside of me I deal with every day between Thanksgiving and about Mid-March.  For some people it’s less time, and for others, it’s more.  It feels like the Postpartum depression I had for the first 4 weeks after my son’s birth.  It begins as a nagging feeling, that turns into a feeling of dread.  Dread?  Yup, dread.  It overtakes me like a demon overtakes a human…I cry at everything and anything, I sleep more, I stare more, and I tend to lash out more.  My husband, sons, parents, sisters and closest friends know it the depression talking.  The know this silly little hobbit doesn’t usually act like this, and know how to approach me during my times of struggle.  They know and respect the fact I don’t want chemicals in my body.  They are patient and kind, and allow me the time and patience I need for myself to understand how my body reacts to this rough season.

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(seriously, whoever created these are a GENIUS)

Kratom certainly helps, but, it is just a band aid.  It does NOT take away the full feelings.  But it does lessen the load.  And the best part?  It does not numb me.  If there could be anything that I hate, it is the numbness of my body, mind and soul.  To lose the essence of your life just because there’s a period of time each year where I feel sad, it’s just not enough for me to make that kind of decision.  That’s not for me to judge anyone who DOES.

So, for the next few weeks, I will be quietly tinkering away at my new home.  Putting things in their place, and dealing with the sadness I not only feel for the cold months, but for other things I cannot control.  It’s a continued lesson in humility, and I love that I’m always up for the challenge, no matter how tired and sad I’m feeling at the moment.

What makes me happy during the colder months?

  • Music – Usually Celtic/Irish/Scottish music, 80’s Pop, and some Sacred World music, from either Lisa Thiel, Snatnam Kaur, or Spiral Dance
  • Painting – I am still trying to find my easle, but the moment I do, I’m off!
  • Festivals – There is an amazing Scottish and Irish Festival that happens in February, and it truly lifts up my spirits EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
  • Garden Planning – For the first time since 2007, I will have my own garden again.  Planning it has definitely helped tremendously during this time.
  • Snuggles – My boys know all these need to do is snuggle up to me, it will bring a big smile.  I love my family.
  • Cleaning – I tend to light A LOT of incense that smells of lavender, jasmine, and other springy smells…as well as light lots of candles…and the smell of Pine Sol?  OMG Don’t go there with me…it’s like heaven haha!
  • Ritual – if there is anything I love to do, is to be in ritual with myself.  That time you give to yourself, whether it is meditating, chanting, praying, or even something simple like taking a nice, warm bath…yes, it helps a great deal.

I know there are probably more, but these are the big ones.  Tell me about what you do!  I am always looking for suggestions.

Lots of Hobbit Love,

Bridget

 

Review: Tom’s Tinctures Gold Rush

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Any herbalist, like myself, can agree we love a good tincture.  A blending of extracts and herbs, infused together to produce a long lasting effect to whatever ails you.

I have made my fair share of tinctures in life.  They take time, patience, and a whole lotta love.  Herbal tinctures are literally the essence of the herb, magnified ten-fold to give you the benefits you need from that herb.  Rarely do I use other people’s tinctures, mainly because we all know that big Pharma has done some serious tinkering in today’s tinctures we like to call “medicine”.  Add all the sugar in the world to make it taste better, that in the end becomes habit forming and really, it only puts a band aid on the problem.  

Tinctures are the original medicines.  Doctors, witches and the like would take herbs, and create tonics by dissolving them in alcohol.  Whether be whiskey or vodka, it was something that would literally boost the effect of the herb.  I am grateful to be among some really great people who have decided to come back to basics, walk away from the big pharma guys, and retreat back to nature, where all our cures are hiding.  

Over the last week I came across a little store called Tom’s Tinctures.  I will admit, I became intrigued by it because Tom is my Father’s name, and my Dad was always the first person in the bathroom when I was kneeling before the porcelain god when I was sick.  So, I started looking into his tinctures.  As many of my readers know, I have been battling insomnia for many years.  My body clock doesn’t like to tell time, so it’s hard for me to be in a pattern where I’m awake during the day and sleepy at night.  I can go days without sleeping at night, and during the day taking naps in lieu of eating lunch.  It makes for my physical appearance to be almost drawn and murky, and all I want to do is sleep.  Every few months I go on a Red Bull kick, having 1 8 oz can every morning.  The moment I feel I need more than 1 a day, do I immediately go off of it.  Quite honestly, I HATE that I feel the need to HAVE this every morning.  I have tried oil pulling, drinking warm lemon water, coffee, green tea, you name it, I’ve tried it.  

Over the past year, though, I came across the miracle plant Kratom, and I have found that when mixed into a tea in the morning, I can get a good burst of energy.  The problem is, the tea is VERY bitter and I REALLY don’t feel like drinking bitter tea first thing in the morning.  Then I came across Tom’s energy tincture called “Gold Rush”.  With a series of FIVE energetic Kratom strains, raw cacao and turmeric, I was anticipating that this could be my saving grace.

The tincture comes in a little brown bottle, something quite rustic and charming looking.  I opened up the bottle to smell it, and it hardly smelled!  I was so impressed!  When working with a plant like Kratom, we are so privy to the taste of it and how our gag reflexes take over if it stays in our mouth too long.  With the hint of Cacao in the smell, I was looking forward to trying it.  

After giving the bottle a good shake, I produced a full size serving from the tube and placed it under my tongue, allowing the saliva and cells mix in with the tincture.  The initial burning sensation was quite obvious…The alcohol content was there but not profound.  See, in cough medicines, most companies put a similar amount of alcohol, but mask it with so much sugar, sometimes I wonder if it counters the alcohol a bit.  I’m no chemist, but I will say tinctures always worked better for me than any OTC cough syrup.  

I put another serving under my tongue, and 30 seconds later swished and swallowed what was in my mouth.  The taste was NOT bad at all.  The turmeric and cacao definitely helps with this.  Within about 5 minutes, I felt a slight energetic pull to become more focused.  Usually I get that whenever I take any energetic Kratom.  However, with the tincture, it was a different feeling.  Although this doesn’t give off the euphoric feelings many strains of Kratom can give, the Gold Rush tincture definitely has its energetic benefits.  The first dose lasted 6 ½ hours, until I felt the need to do it again.  

All in all it is a GREAT product from a man who truly loves what he does and take time and patience in the quality of his product.  I am looking forward to trying to Earth Syrup tincture, Gold Rush’s sleepy counterpart, but in the meantime, Tom’s Tinctures definitely has a customer in me!

Keep On Keeping On….

wayne_dyer_peace_quote-251358About 20 minutes ago I wrote up a 1000 word blog on what’s going on with me.  Yeah, I won’t be posting that.  As many of you know, I take an herbal supplement along with my Juice Plus called Kratom.  A native relative of the coffee plant, Kratom comes from the jungles of Southeast Asia and has medicinal properties like no other.  For anyone with an addictive personality (like myself), I have found Kratom to be a lifesaver.  This winter has me battling a depression far worse than previous years.  What is does to my body on a physical level is so bad, I wonder how I get out of bed each day.  My entire body is cracked and dry, no matter how much oil, lotion, you name it, that I put on it.  It doesn’t work.  I have been dealing with a headache for 3 months straight now.  Signs point to my thyroid and gluten allergy, but hey, it’s not that I didn’t know this. Kratom helps me with depression, and Juice Plus helps out everywhere else.  However, since this cold weather really kicked us in the face this season, it seems NOTHING is working, no matter how much I take.  I was in the middle of taking my Kratom when I wrote the post that no one will ever see, dear God it was so depressing!  That’s how bad it has been recently.  Sigh….

But, the Kratom HAS kicked in and I am feeling slightly better.  It makes me so happy to see more people trying this miracle plant.  It has helped people off so many prescription and street drugs. And it almost has become a vocation for me to reach out to those who need it.  Quite a few people now order it at work, and my fiance’s best friend will be trying it this week.  It makes getting through this winter so much more worthwhile.  And I need to keep it in my head, that in 30 days, this weather will most likely be gone.  Crocuses will be blossoming, and tiny buds from hyacinths, daffodils and tulips will be making their way to the surface.  Mother Earth is waking up, and I know it is so important to remember that right now, instead of complaining of what’s happening right now.  My sweet friends up North, Lisa, Stephanie, Pixie, Bren, and Heather are all dealing with the continuous bad weather those states have been getting the last couple weeks.  My heart goes out to you all, and know I am holding you close to my heart that Spring will be coming sooner than later.

Today also marks our official 60 day mark until our wedding!  For those who haven’t seen our website, please check it out!

http://www.theknot.com/wedding/Scott-Bridget

My sweet friends have decided to throw me a bridal shower on Saturday, March 14, and I look forward to being able to spend it with my family and friends. (sad to know my one sister cannot attend, but life is crazy these days, so I hope she knows I will miss her there.)

Needless to say, as I continue typing, the general happiness is coming back into my body.  Thank you Kratom for helping me with this.  Please let me know if anyone wants to know more about this plant.

I have decided to give up the good fight on the rumors that were circulating around a couple weeks ago that I don’t believe in Jesus.  It’s been a rough couple weeks but I am truly hanging in there. I will continue to pray for those people and just continue to live on.  Yesterday I was at Earthspeak in Kimberton, and bought these beautiful pictures of Jesus and St. Germain, my two teachers.  Jesus is out in the living room and St. Germain is in my bedroom.  Maybe this week I will post pictures of my sacred spaces throughout my home.  I hope they bring you the kind of peace they bring me.

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Also, I have been lax on the 44 days of Spirit.  Forgive me.  I know many of you have emailed me asking if I forgot about it, and my answer is this:  No, I promise I will continue, just got thrown off the ramp a bit from that rumor.  It’s hard to keep a smile on your face when your name is being spoken in a negative manner.  But I promise, I will continue that series.  So much I want to share with you all.

In the end, I just wanted to thank you guys for sticking by me these last couple weeks while I sort my emotions out.  I see a bright light at the end of the tunnel, so I am looking forward to continuing my journey.

And as my amazing and wonderful Super-Aunt Kathy told me, “Be 100% there.”  Well, that’s a promise I know I will keep.

Love, Light and Ooey-Gooey Happiness,

Bridget

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The Kratom Chronicals: KDK Botanicals

KDK BotanicalsHi all!  I wanted to give you guys a review on the two blends that I happen to have tried from KDK Botanicals.  Last night I was able to take the Red Blend.  No question, out of all the blends I have tried from all the vendors, KDK Botanicals has an amazing product and I’m glad I can share this all with you.

So, last night I tried the red.  I usually take the Kratom in powder form, so this review is based on the way I make it:  As a tea.  The way I make my tea at night is I use 2/3 of a cup of hot water and filter 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons in it.  The Red blend packs a powerful punch, and I was looking forward to seeing how it would help my pain, since I am currently battling a minor hairline fracture in the top of my foot.  So, the taste:  Because it’s a red blend and I use more of in the that small amount of water, it’s definitely a stronger tea.  But I put a nice helping of organic clover honey in the tea to help with the taste.  Usually, I expect any Red Leaf Kratom to be more bitter, and this particular blend is actually very smooth and not bitter at all.  So, it was very easy to drink the tea, and very pleasant.  Within 5 minutes the effects began.  Now, it did give a bit of the “good feeling” vibes, aka euphoria, but not much, at least for me.  What I DID notice, was that the pain I had been battling throughout the day were completely GONE.  I mean, really just GONE.  This effect lasted a good 4-6 hours.  I woke up this morning and although the pain was beginning to come back, the calming feeling I had was amazing, something I am not used to with Reds.  This is definitely a blend I would like to use during my nightly ritual.

The next day (today), I decided to finally try the White blend.  Now, I have to tell you, I have always used only Red or Green blends.  But I have always wanted to try to White.  So, using the same amount of water, I used only 1 teaspoon of the White blend this morning.  Great static, which always means it’s a good product.  Smooth taste, hardly bitter with the honey.  Now, the effect started a little later than the Red did the night before.  I want to say I started to feel it around 30 minutes in. It gives off a warm feeling, almost like after you take a five hour energy.  The good thing is that it does give off a rush of energy along with the feeling of euphoria.  Again, not as much as green gives off euphoria, but enough along with the energy to make it probably the best blend I’ve ever had. 

My goal tomorrow is to mix the white and the green together, and tonight I plan to mix the red and the yellow.

All in all I am really excited about KDK Botanicals.  Their product is excellent with a price we can all get behind on.  And as I post this review, I will be placing another order with them. 

Kratom on!

Kratom Review: Super Red Vein Borneo

wpid-samred.jpgREVIEW:  Super Red Vein Borneo

When I first starting taking Kratom, I was skeptical about taking any red-veined powder for fear any type of “sedation” the effect would bring would be enough to knock me out and not allow me to function as a normal human being. After taking this strain, however, I was once again humbled by my error. I think much of my fear had been based with the stigma that politics has eagerly tried to put on this medicinal plant. But I listened to my heart and my analytical head, and pushed onward by taking my friend’s advice to at least try. This by far, is a VERY powerful little leaf that has extreme benefits when it comes to alleviating pain and sleep deprivation. All while giving you the opportunity to function on a daily basis, depending on the amount you take each time. When I was taking Oxycontin or Xanax, I wouldn’t be able to do anything other than sit down and allow the effects to take over. Hardly able to concentrate, I was more about being “in the moment”, feeling that euphoric feeling for those 10-15 minutes then falling to sleep, hoping to sleep through whatever time I could before I could take my next dose. Looking back I was really a functioning pill pusher. I found a way to live with it. I did it for so many years; it became daily habit for me to just be who I was. The pain was a part of my life, so I accepted that medicine was going to be also a part of me. Who would have thought in a million years the way society is today, that the botanicals of our Mother Earth gives us all the necessities to not only care for ourselves, but also to repair ourselves? This is what I feel Super Red Vein Borneo is: The strain that repairs you.

What it is: The powder itself is brownish in color, showing that the reddish tint mixing with the green simply gives off that hue. In my own personal opinion, the smell is more pungent than of any of the green, possibly one of the properties from the coloring of the stems/veins in the leaf itself. Since the red vein leaves are more sedating in nature, it is important to remember how much you take during the time you take it, will determine how your body will react to it. Meaning, if you take it first thing in the morning, chances are although you won’t have the pain, you will be dragging your energy all over the place, because the muscles in your body will naturally react that way because of the fact it is sedating in nature. So, unless you need to deal with your pain during the night, my suggestion is to mix this with a green strain, to at least get your bout of energy you need. For me, I take my red strain at nighttime. It’s easier for me to control my pain during the day because my job gives me the opportunity to be busy enough I can almost ignore it. I know many don’t have that luxury, so take my ideas with a grain of salt and do what is best for you.

Taking it: As I usually do, I take it as a tea, and recently I added cinnamon sticks to my pan on the stove to infuse the cinnamon into the Kratom and water. Cinnamon has amazing therapeutic qualities as it stands alone: giving off a relief of any inflammatory issues with your body, so taking it with the red vein Kratom could be essential to your pain relief. Anyway, I took 1 cup water and the took the Super Red Vein Borneo and put two tablespoons of the powder into water for the pot to go into a slow boil. Remember, if you make a tea with Kraton, NEVER fast boil it, for it will take a massive chunk of the alkaloids from the Kratom. It’s like taking a capsule with Kratom and emptying the contents out, and swallowing the empty capsule instead of the powder. It’s going to give you the same effect: Nothing. But I digress…

Once you get it to a simmering boil, take it off the heat and let it cool down. Filter the water, Kratom and cinnamon stick through a sieve or better yet, a coffee filter, to get your tea. You can take what’s in the filter and re-add water to get more out of that batch (mind you, it will be less in potency, due to much of it came from the first batch). Sometimes I like to take that second batch and mix it with my green in the morning to give me energy AND pain relief in the AM. Once you get your filtered tea into your teacup, take ½ of that first batch to drink and save the rest for the next night. Add some honey (whatever amount you like), and drink slowly. I like to inhale the steam before sipping; it helps take some of the bitterness away. This particular brand is definitely bitterer than Maeng Da, as I found Maeng Da to be very smooth and sweeter in taste. Nevertheless, Kratom itself becomes an acquired taste, and I found it to be very soothing in the end.

Effects: It took about 15 minutes to start feeling any effects, mainly started with feeling my face become flushed and a bit hot under the collar, so-to-speak. A slight euphoric feeling did sweep in, but it only lasted about 10 minutes. Personally, I did feel the Maeng Da had more of a euphoric effect that any of the strains I have tried so far. However, the pain relief was amazing. I took this on the verge of a migraine, and thankfully it kicked it just in time for the pain to go right away, so no medicine needed to intervene in the long run. I’ve been a migraine sufferer since 1979 (before doctors knew what migraines REALLY were), so as someone who has been battling this cross for 35 years, this was definitely a breakthrough for me.

Overall: I definitely give this a solid A for pain relief and sleep and a B- for euphoria/overall feeling of wellness. I think this is definitely a strain for people with chronic pain, however if you have an anxiety disorder like myself, my advice would be to mix a green strain/maeng da to offer assistance in that area. Overall it is a great type of Kratom, and looking forward to more restful, pain-free sleeps in the future.

Vendor: Kratom Underground

The Little Miracle Plant That Could…

feetOy. My feet are cold. Over here in Southeastern Pennsylvania the temperatures are going to drop into the single digits tonight. Yikes. We had some snow a couple days ago, and I got to take my new car (properly named Stella-Bella) on the back roads this week to see how she handles. For someone who has driven petrified for years in my little Honda during winter weather, I did rather well! No problems whatsoever, so I consider it a success.

I had a goal to get our bedroom cleaned and organized after the holidays, and sadly I haven’t met that goal yet. I sit here in bed, gazing over at the mound of clothes that doesn’t seem to fold itself. Ah well, I get to tackle it this week. That’s it, keep saying that, Bridget. (Smiling slyly at myself). I know I will get it done. Eventually.

The cold weather has taken a toll on my chronic pain in my hip and low back. My hands and feet are ice cold and honestly sleep has been a welcome joy when I know it’s time to go to bed. Thankfully for my Kratom tea, my pain is subsided in the evening, but quite honestly, it doesn’t help with my energy, that I had loads of during the day. Coming home, though….that’s a different story.

So I decided to talk a little bit about Kratom. This miracle little plant hails from the depths of Southeast Asian forests, growing into trees of such beauty. A relative of the coffee plant, Kratom has medicinal properties that are truly amazing. From the green vein leaves with energy, and the red vein with pain relief, Kratom does even so much more for the human body. As someone who has dealt with chronic pain from years of abuse of food addiction, resulting in severe pain in my hips, knees, legs and back. Also a migraine sufferer since the ripe age of 6 years old, I have had my share of pain. Then the lovely anxiety disorder. From therapy years ago, I’ve been suffering from anxiety since I was 12. So, at one point I was on close to 8 different types of medication. EIGHT. Taken along with my supplements and vitamins, allergy pills and such, I was without a doubt, a pill pusher. I needed to get off this crap. So, with the help of a friend, I got on Juice Plus+, which we all know how much I love that! But it didn’t help with the pain and anxiety. So, after doing TONS of research of Kratom, I decided to give it a try. Now, for the naysayers, let me say this: This is a legal herb. It is legal in my state. It is NOT an opiate. It is NOT a drug. It is sad that many people who have abused this plant, politics has tried to intervene to see if this plant needs to go on the drug database. Sadly, there are about 4 states and a County in Florida that bans it. But as far as I’m concerned, I’m good.

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Talk about a difference in my life! I don’t remember the last time I felt true pain! And the feeling of wellness inside of you…The great thing about Kratom is that although it is NOT an opiate, it does have opiate-like qualities. Depending on the type you take, you can get a Euphoric feeling from it. This feeling of wellness and happiness makes it only more amazing. I have found along with my Juice Plus+, I have a sense of CONSTANT motivation, as well as a peace and happiness inside myself. I’ve become a major advocate of Kratom, to the point I have started writing reviews for certain social media pages that are dedicated to Kratom. As much as it pains me to see people use it the wrong way, I believe we need to keep the momentum going.

As I sit here at my laptop, just finishing my Kratom tea I just made, I’m just going to say life is swell. People keep asking me what the hell am I doing that I look so good, that I always seem so happy, always smiling? Well, now you know.

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~ Bridget