I go on a lot of walks because I have a dog and dogs need lots of walks. People need a lot of walks too, but I don't feel as guilty when I don't walk myself because I have plenty of other work to do. That said, the energetic, ecopsychological, and ancestral health type benefits of being in true nature are unmatched by housework and landscaping. Luckily, I live somewhere where there are a lot of amazing places to hike just a few miles away. The desert here is chock full of interesting geological formations, Native American ruins and petroglyphs, and diverse ecological habitats including springs and streams.
I like shopping at the farmers market even when the stuff isn't certified organic because it's fresh, in season, not waxed or sprayed with anything, and probably organicish. The Camp Verde farmers market is a good one. When I buy groceries I like to take into account the vibration of the atmosphere and the quality of the entire experience. This helps keep my energy high. If I was rating Camp Verde Farmers Market on Yelp I'd give it a five star review because:
I'm doing a bunch of videos on my lifestyle as a supersensitive superhuman. I am not sure what the best word or phrase is to describe the content (let me know if you think of any, my brand could use some fine-tuning). But you could say that they are all tied together by the theme of health or green living or holistic living.
While I no longer do much in the way of foraging, herbalism, or botanizing, I'm pretty crazy about gardening. I've put a ridiculous amount of money into plants for someone who lives in a rental house, and have spent a ridiculous amount of time landscaping for someone who has chronic fatigue. I find that when I'm working outside it is relatively easy to keep going. The outdoor light and exercise is stimulating so that that helps. I'm curious what biological mechanisms are at play there since light is such a huge therapeutic tool.
So, I've been taking all of the recommended supplements, and more, for all of my tests for 6-8 weeks now. They cost around $500/month. Progress is going nowhere slow. My doctor thinks that given my non-responsiveness to these and past treatments I will eventually need to be referred to a specialist who deals with mold/biotoxins, Lyme, chronic viral infections, and that sort of thing, but that I should keep on trying to get my major systems (adrenals, gut, and detox) in line first. I'm supposed to keep on keeping on 'til August and do some retests to see if anything has shifted, but not expect any changes in symptoms. This is really shitty. To just have to keep on day after day, month after month, year after year with bone-crushingly deep, dysfunctional depression, fatigue, and pain.
This is not actually a post. This is a post about a page. What's the difference between a post and a page? The difference is I wanted to keep a collection of all the data I have related to my health conditions in one place, and I intend to keep updating that list. If I put it in a normal blog it will be buried somewhere in the historical list of blogs. You don't periodically update a blog post. That's just wrong.
You might know that there is this whole Quantified Self movement. It's kinda a tech nerd thing, but tracking and analyzing one's habits for the purpose of self-knowledge and self-improvement is an age old tradition. Millions of people track their spending, athletic performance, diet, weight, and more.
Here is my first attempt at an edited youtube video with music and titles and everything. Yeah, it's kind of an obscure topic, and yeah, the music is a bit loud compared to the voice, and there is a little too much foot and too little face in the long middle sequence, and it kinda just cuts off at the end because we ran out of memory on the iphone, but overall it's not a bad first go.
“Why—” Lyra began, and found her voice weak and trembling—“why can’t I read the alethiometer anymore? Why can’t I even do that? That was the one thing I could do really well, and it’s just not there anymore—it just vanished as if it had never come . . .”
“You read it by grace,” said Xaphania, looking at her, “and you can regain it by work.”
“How long will that take?”
“That long . . .”
I recently finished reading the Jonathan Franzen novel Purity. It was a commendable book, but has little to do with what I am about to write other than I was struck by the name, and spent some time ruminating upon it, and upon the rare people I've met who displayed this quality in some aspect of their life. This is what I strive for, I thought, purity.
As a highly sensitive person and a sick person, I often don't know which is which. I don't know what perceptions are part of the inherent and healthy skill set of a highly refined nervous system (like aversion to certain scents, or social situations), and what perceptions are inherently pathological symptoms that will fade away as I achieve greater and greater health. If all of my medical tests came back clean: no liver or kidney dysfunction, no macrocytic anemia, no pathogenic infections, great adrenal output, low heavy metals, etc., who would I be? How "sensitive" would I be?
Sometimes I listen to biohacker Dave Asprey's podcast, Bulletproof Radio, and although he isn't my favorite podcaster because he is a bit too linear for my taste (I'll regret writing that when I finally release an awesome book I need to promote), he has some fascinating guests and topics. At the end of each interview he asks each guest the same question which goes something like, "What are your three pieces of advice for somebody looking to boost their performance in all areas and kick ass at life?"
I'm writing this because people ask me how I'm doing. This is a good overview of how I am doing right now. I think people resist telling the truth about how they are navigating their life because they are afraid it will sound whiny, negative, silly, weak, self-indulgent, self-obsessed, first-world- problemish, etc. Well, I guess I accept that it should sound that way. I do have mental illness. I do have a bad attitude. I feel really bad about that and ashamed, which of course just contributes to the problem. But this is the truth.
You may have noticed that I haven't been blogging much since the New Year. I've been slightly more ill than usual due to some circumstances that knocked me off balance. I wanted to let you know I am currently running a GoFundMe campaign, gofundme.com/doctorforemily, to raise money for my medical expenses. If you've enjoyed my writing please consider donating. Every little bit helps. The thing you don't realize until you run one of these campaigns yourself, is that even $5 or $10 shows someone cares and that has greater value than the money alone.
As a person with a chronic illness, who believes in the healing power of diet, I spend a lot of time thinking about what I ought to eat: specific foods, food categories (fruits, starches, FODMAPS, etc.) and macronutrient ratios. I've read a lot about the rationale behind such food choices. Although I favor paleo, low-carb, and ketogenic style diets, I take issue with some of the statements. Statements like:
I've come to the conclusion that the metaphysical is a lot like sex. Everyone thinks about it, but no one talks about it in polite company. There seems to be a sort of embarrassed shaming around being spiritual or experiencing spiritual events such as synchronicities, clairvoyance, miraculous healings and the like. You might hear someone say, “This is a little woo-woo but...”.
There are healers all around us, and they are willing to work for free. In my last post, Ecology, Energy and Sense of Place, I wrote about how places, built or wild, express certain essences or energies which can be perceived by the human being. Much like people, they have "personalities"...placalities?
Now we have certain types of people whose personalities lead them into certain types of professions like doctor, priest, shaman, or therapist. I believe certain places are also especially suited to those roles and I call such places "sacred places". They embody an essence of healing, divinity, compassion, love, or light, or somehow seem to be spilling out more "chi" than other places.
In 1952, A few friends and I, all Chinese graduate students at the University of California—Berkeley and all novices at camping, arrived at the Death Valley National Monument at about three in the morning, exhausted by the long drive, and exhausted by an unsuccessful attempt to set up tent in the dark, buffeted by strong wind. In the end, we slept out in the open in our sleeping bags. When I woke up, the sun had risen high enough to throw its rays on the range of mountains across the valley and presented me with a scene, totally alien to my experience up to that time, of such unearthly beauty that I felt transported to the supernatural realm and yet, paradoxically, also at home, as though I had returned after a long absence.
The desert, including the barren parts (and I would even say) especially those, appeals to me. I see in it purity, timelessness, and a generosity of mind and spirit. The bleached skull in the desert, far from evoking the odor of death, suggests something clean and noble that may crumble into dust but is exempt from the humiliation of decay.
In my post, A Primer on Synchronicity, Or Why Your Computer Broke Today, I reported that I might start a feature called synchronicity watch. Well, here is the first installment.
Today's synchronicities come to us from two guys at opposite ends of the spectrum. The first is an unlikely source: Tucker Max. For those of you who don't know, Tucker Max is most famous for inventing the literary genre of “fratire”, which mostly involves him publishing true stories about alcoholism, sexual conquests, insulting people, and reveling in his own displays of shocking narcissism. In regard to the last two, he is not entirely unlike current Republic presidential candidate Donald Trump. Except I believe Tucker Max is much, much more clever than Trump...but equally an asshole, a quintessential smartass.