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Business Partners
(Feb 1996)

This photo is of me and my two business partners… Jan Stickney and Marcel Campbell. ISSUES is seven years old and still growing. Marcel will be assisting Jan as they take over much of the work I do. I want to create a little more balance in my life and be more out there rather than in here typing and getting ready to go to print.

And I am finally ready to feel supported. The Spring Festival crew helped me get used to asking for help and getting it. Last April, as I walked around the Naramata Centre grounds, I realized that my mother was wrong. She had embedded deeply into me her belief that “If you want something done …you do it yourself. ” I had examined this thought pattern and agreed that it was time to let it go, so after the festival last year, I placed an ad in ISSUES asking for business partners. Strange feelings of fear and tension deep within my body gave way as my chest expanded and my heart opened. Realizing I no longer needed to produce Issues all by myself helped me to breathe a little easier as old tension released from deep within.

I love it when I finally understand another piece of my puzzle. I have read enough to know that if I am bothered by something, it is because it is within me … People are mirrors for me to look inside myself, otherwise I wouldn’t have even noticed such and such a trait in the person. The people who irritate me the most are the emotionally needy types. I certainly wasn’t needy, so why the irritation? This puzzled me for many years as I searched for answers.

I now believe the person that said, “All diseases start at an emotional level and the physical body is a only a reflection for us to look at our emotional bodies.” As a child my feelings of anger and frustration were ignored or I was punished if I became too vocal. I learned early in life to suppress my needs. As long as I was a good girl and helped Mom I was loved. This created tension in my body … more than I realized … as a teenager I stopped menstruating for four months when I had to take care of my brothers when my Mom was hurt.

During the past year, sometimes, after getting rolfed, I would menstruate spontaneously. If I had just finished, I would bleed for another day. If I was a week or two away, I would start the day after he finished. This puzzled me as I added it to my notes, not knowing what to make of it. The morning of my latest rolf I awoke at six am and realized I had started my period, suddenly, several days early. When Gary arrived, I said,”I guess my body knew you were coming and got ready.” The day following that session was one of the few days that I can remember that I felt no tension in my body. Still, I guess I just wasn’t ready to be healed, for the next day I managed to pop my right hip joint out of place. A recurring problem which has required many visits to the chiropractor over the past twenty years before getting rolfed.

The next five days were intense as I relived in slow motion the way my body stores pain. The nights were sleepless and my eating habits were screaming at me to be re-examined. I cried a lot, and processed feelings around the issues of needing to be strong, independent and always busy. The right side of my heart felt like it was on fire and at times felt like it was being ripped out. My stomach ached as memories came up of the time Mother got burnt when she was a camp cook in the Nass Valley and her trailer exploded.

That happened when I was fifteen years old. Grandad and I were called to the hospital where they explained to us that mother was in critical condition. If she survived the first 24 hours she might live. I was told to be good and not say anything that would upset her, for if I did, it would make her feel much worse and she probably couldn’t handle that. I walked into the room and steadied myself as I stared at this balloon with tiny slits where her eyes, nose and mouth should have been. Grandad said, “You look like a cooked goose.” Mother’s voice was faint and weak as she asked me to take good care of my three brothers. I don’t remember crying, for that was a weakness my father didn’t allow. Besides, I was already thinking of the adjustments that would be needed so that our family could survive.

Recently, my mother returned all the letters I had written to her while she was at Vancouver General Hospital. I found it most interesting to note that all my letters slanted except for my capital I’s … they stood straight up. (Slanted letters represent emotional needs.) I wrote about quitting swimming and tennis lessons, starting a part-time job, making the lunches and dinners, selling the puppies, reading the boys bedtime stories and figuring out ways to punish them when they didn’t follow instructions. I also took note that I wasn’t menstruating and didn’t again until mother returned home many months later. I reckon I was so busy being strong and without needs that I didn’t notice the tension building in my stomach. A year later, my stomach was so sensitive that I couldn’t wear panty hose or belts. I felt like I was cut in half and I didn’t know why. Indigestion was a constant problem, so I went to the doctor. He couldn’t find anything wrong with me and said I had to live with it. I did and then developed a cyst on my uterus, that grew to the size of a lemon.

I studied everything I could find on holistic health: Ayurveda, the Chinese Five Element Theory, Herbalism, Acupressure and much more trying to understand my symptoms, which seemed to improve for a short while but never for long. I have gained a wealth of knowledge … and wisdom …. searching for ways to heal myself naturally. At the time I didn’t realize that blocked emotions could cause indigestion or grow a cyst. Learning that emotions affected my body and that as an adult it is safe to display them, I investigated further this avenue of healing. I appreciate knowing about herbs, my constitution, and how each organ is related and I will continue to cleanse and strengthen my liver and gall bladder as I relive moments in my life that caused me stress.

At present I am listening to audio tapes by Barbara de Angelis, the Love Doctor, from Los Angeles. She has written several books and now has a kit with five audio tapes, two videos and a workbook for those searching to understand how love affects us. It is helping me to understand my childhood survival issues of being strong, independent and without need, and how my unfinished emotional relationships with my Mother and Father are still influencing my relationships. Love, fear, anger, sadness…all need room inside of my body. If they aren’t expressed, they create energy blocks. I am also being counselled by Dawn Schaefer, a Chinese herbalist, nutritional expert and acupuncturist who has helped me to realize that my liver energy has been depleted and the organ needs time to rest and detoxify. I spent twenty years as a lifeguard, sniffing, breathing and swimming in chlorine, which had been more than my liver could handle. Interestingly enough, the liver also stores the emotion of anger (or resentment if anger isn’t or can’t be expressed.) Why I chose lifeguarding as a career is starting to make sense in that it created the opportunity for my liver to get overloaded to the point where I knew something was wrong.

Now, as I release the tears and repressed feelings of frustration, I feel much lighter. I am learning to take more time for myself and to ask for help. The cyst on my uterus is gone, releasing much of the internal pressure, letting my hip stabilize. My stomach is starting to speak to me as the chi that was blocked deep within is released. This helps release tightness in my shoulders as the chi circulates and flows more smoothly through the meridians. I chart my progress of letting go internally to how much farther I can stretch each week in my yoga class. Developing strength and balance in the asanas (postures) add to the overall perception of who I am.

I am learning to express my needs and my strengths, so that I may have balance in my life. I am grateful to the persistence of the universe to keep showing me, from many different viewpoints, my energy pattern. As my emotional body lightens its load, my physical body can start the repair work of allowing the energy to flow as it is supposed to … providing me with more vitality and awareness of who I am.