Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Community Joins Hands

 

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed...it is the only thing that ever has."
~ Margaret Mead

I honestly believe there is nothing more beautiful in this world than witnessing compassion translate into action; I've been privileged enough to experience this a handful of times in my life, but the sheer abundance that has occurred during these past 30 days of it, has been so astonishing to me, that I simply had to write about it : )

Here's a glimpse at what's been happening "behind the scenes" as a result of our campaign merely existing:

A renowned architect by the name of Dan Goodrich has contacted Inanna House, and pledged to not only help them draw up the blueprints for the center, but has also offered to help oversee the construction of it...free of charge! (That's about $300,000+ he is foregoing...) Why would anyone be willing to do such a thing? Because his daughter went four years undiagnosed with this condition, witnessed how the our healthcare system treats, ignores, and downright robs Lyme patients who attempt to receive adequate treatment, and knows that Inanna House can help.

Lol - don't get me wrong, I consider this man a saint, but the only time he can do this is AFTER Inanna House receives their 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization Status (which is included in the campaign budget)...after all, he IS self-employed and will most definitely need that tax write-off.

*Note: Because I had included the cost of having blueprints drawn up in my original monetary goal for the campaign, I have sent a request to Indiegogo, asking them to subtract that particular amount. Unfortunately, whether they chose comply with this request is entirely up to them.


http://www.wildcondor.com/
Laura Wild (widely known as Wild Condor), writer for Public Health Alert is "buzzing" with excitement about Inanna House. Laura has been a health care journalist, and Lyme Disease patient advocate for the past 15 years, and is honored to help support Inanna House. She is traveling for the rest of the summer, but plans on writing an article in the well known PHA newspaper about Inanna House and Mara Williams once she has returned.
Even though our conversations have only been limited to e-mails and FB messaging, Laura's warmth is entirely palpable, and it has been both a complete honor and pleasure getting to know her. Because her own website is literally chock-filled with valuable resources and information regarding TBD's, I have created a link for it under her image, and in the "Resources" section in this blog. 




http://www.tickedoffmusicfest.com/
Gregg Kirk, lead singer of the The Zen Engines and founder of the Ticked Off Music Fest, a most anticipated, upcoming event to be held in Philadelphia in October 2012, had originally planned on giving ALL of the proceeds from this event to the TBDA, but after hearing about Inanna House, he has redirected a portion of the proceeds to benefit them as well!


Maisie (also known as Lyme Chick) has joined forces with our cause and besides being one of the most sincere, kind-hearted person I have ever met and someone whose friendship has been a true gift for me, has been doing everything she can to see this campaign succeed. Again, I can't stress enough how selfless her involvement has been, for she is still battling CLD and unlike most of us, is not financially desperate. Honestly, she COULD have decided to not care, but has instead, decided most generously to participate...for you.



Every Lyme patient knows of the Congressional Hearing that was held on July 17, 2012 at 2pm to address "Global Challenges in Diagnosing and Managing Lyme Disease - Closing Knowledge Gaps." Many of you may remember the outstanding testimony given by Evan J. White, Esq. Although I never imagined he'd actually call me back after I left an embarrassingly nervous and rambling message in an effort to tell him about Inanna House...he (to my utter disbelief) did! And, although he has quite the handful and is VERY busy with both his Law Practice, and with the new birth of his son, he has kindly offered to help Inanna House by holding future fundraising events for them, so long as he is able. 

It is important to understand that ALL of these people are extremely Lyme Literate, and it would have been impossible for me to try to either persuade or convince them of the sincerity of Inanna House had the Organization not spoken volumes for itself. In that sense, I did absolutely nothing but make them aware of it. We all know that centers like this one are sorely needed, and these are just some of the people who are fighting to make it happen.

On a more personal note, however ecstatic I may be over the upcoming prospects for Inanna House, my mission in creating the campaign was to help expedite the building process of this center. Reaching our goal now would allow that to happen. Make no mistake, Inanna House will be built...I have never fought for anything so fiercely in my entire life, but the success of the campaign, and how quickly you would like to see it become a reality is ultimately up to you...

Thank You So Much For Your Time,
Sarah : )

Friday, July 27, 2012

Seeing Right Through Me...

For the past several years, I've found myself stumbling into old friends at the most random of moments, and have learned something that I have come to discover, every Lyme Patient knows: I LOOK FINE. 


In fact, no one would ever expect that I was even remotely ill. It's actually become kind of an art of mine, hiding my physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms from everyone, hell - if you look at my facebook pictures you could almost call me a liar...but deep inside I'm always yearning to actually feel how I look.


It's surprising, but this wasn't always the case, I did have a period where a handful of some very unfortunate souls witnessed what Lyme ACTUALLY looks like. One of them even wrote about it in an effort to help me win a war I was entrenched in for over two years with disability. 


I will forever be grateful to him for writing this. I barely remember anything that happened during that last couple of months in 2007, and without it, I would never know what a normal person must "think" when they witness something as crazy as this...Clark, I miss and love you very much, thanks for watching me go through hell and having the guts to write about it xo   


Here is the letter NY Disability received:



CLARK PERRY
2607 Halm Avenue
Los Angeles, California, 90024 
(310) 903-7282 



October 13, 2009
To Whom It May Concern:

I have been asked to describe my observations of the physical and mental condition of Sarah Lamando during the fall and winter of 2007.

At the time, Ms. Lamando and I both resided in apartments at 4437 Ambrose Avenue in Los Angeles. When I first met Ms. Lamando in early 2007, she was full of energy and enthusiasm, practicing yoga, horseback riding and several other sports on a daily basis. She led me on many energetic hikes through nearby Griffith Park. In conversation, her mind was sharp and witty. She was, in other words, a happy and healthy young woman with an infectious enjoyment of life.

Beginning in September 2007, I witnessed a shocking change in her physical and emotional demeanor. She lost weight rapidly and her healthy skin tone grew pale and sallow. She became inexplicably disoriented in the middle of conversations. Once, at a restaurant, she became so confused and withdrawn from her surroundings that we were forced to abandon our meals. I gently escorted her back to her apartment where she collapsed in bed and could not move for several days.

She had just been hired as a massage therapist at one of Los Angeles’ most renowned health spas, and her clientele included celebrities in the entertainment industry. This was her dream job so it was especially heartbreaking when her decline became so debilitating that she could no longer work. Her physical grace and strength vanished and she began to suffer frightening seizures. This happy and healthy young woman had, in a few short months, been reduced to a bed-ridden shadow of her former self. It was devastating to witness.

In December 2007, Ms. Lamando’s condition had become so life-threatening that she was forced to give up her dream of living in Los Angeles and return home to New York, where she immediately began intensive treatments for her condition.

I have witnessed family and friends suffer from a variety of ailments, including cancer, alcoholism and manic depression. Ms. Lamando’s physical and mental deterioration during this period was more rapid and severe than anything I have ever experienced.

I knew little about Lyme Disease before meeting Ms. Lamando. Since then, I’ve educated myself about this chronic disease. I understand that Ms. Lamando has worked hard to regain some of her health, and for that I am thankful. But it frightens me to realize that she can suffer a relapse at any time.

I hope this letter serves to illuminate particulars about Ms. Lamando’s medical condition. If I may provide any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at the above address and phone number.

Sincerely,

Clark Perry



I think the saddest part about the letter is that, however horrific it may sound, it is still only a fraction of what was really happening to me. The scariest part about it is that it can happen to ANYONE...


If you are considering on contributing to our indiegogo campaign, please, don't wait till the last minute. Trust that there is a reason I picked this organization, and please realize that I did it in an effort to protect future generations....


My grandmother used say to me, "Thank God you have your health, Sarah," and I used to laugh at her not understanding what it meant to NOT have something I felt was so obviously "there". Now I know what she meant and pray that at such a young age, you never do, but if so, that there will always be a place for you to go.


All My Best,
Sarah 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Art of War: According To a Pisces





Recently, while putting together the final touches to the Indiegogo campaign, I had the honor of speaking with the Founder and CEO of Inanna House, Mara Williams. 


Something she said, struck me and I finally realized why I've chosen her vision for Inanna House to both advocate and fundraise for.


I had inquired about getting a very prominent Lyme Advocate involved in the campaign, and she simply replied that this person was too busy, and so entrenched in trying to change "the Political Affairs regarding Lyme Patients" to participate.


The second she said that, a vision of a person passionately throwing himself against an enormous black mountain in a desperate attempt to move it, flashed threw my mind, and I kind of chuckled and said, "Well that's not gonna happen just yet... : )


Please don't misunderstand, I admire ALL efforts that are being put forth to change and rectify the controversy surrounding this epidemic...it's just that I've recently chosen to "fight" in a different way - one that suits my nature much better : )


I'm sure there are a LOT of different opinions about Pisces in general out there, but the ONE thing that is incredible about us is our ability to adapt! 


Going back to the metaphor above, if I saw an enormous black mountain that I needed to have moved, I would NOT throw myself against it, no...the Pisces in me would simply want to carve a watery path around it, and ask others to follow and - in a nutshell, this is what Inanna House is doing for us!


Eventually, if enough of us follow that path, something amazing would happen, something only water could do. It would erode the foundation of that impenetrable rock and we'd all watch in wonder as that mountain simply crumbled to the ground. Now...wouldn't that be the ultimate understanding of Lao Tzu's quote in The Art of War, "Know Thy Enemy"??


Here's What We Need To Do
  • Click on the icon for our campaign below, and if you can, contribute - we have amazing perks AND if we don't reach our goal in 45 days all contributions will automatically be refunded, so there's no harm in trying : ) 
  • I know there are many Lyme patients in financial despair and cannot contribute, but even then, there's so much you can do to help. A short lesson in understanding the "Indiegogo platform" will help you show you why:

*They have something called a "gogofactor" which means that a unique computer algorithm can automatically tell how many people are going to the site and sharing the campaign with others. If enough people go to the site and share using the "Indiegogo Sharing Tools" Inanna House will be featured on the website itself, which in turn, would gain us global and media exposure!*


How to "Share"
  1. If you have a facebook or twitter account, go to the website by clicking on the icon below, and click the facebook "like" icon on it; if you have a twitter account, click on that icon and tweet something GREAT about it!
  2. E-mail the campaign to any contacts and friends you'd like and use this particular URL link to direct them to the campaign: http://igg.me/p/161260?a=666784 (it's the gogofactor URL)
  3. If you have a blog or website, please either share this post, or create your own post about it, and use this HTML embed code to get the image below, it will enable them to click on it and direct them to the site: <iframe src="http://www.indiegogo.com/project/161260/widget/666784" width="224px" height="429px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>
  4. The last thing you can do to help us get featured is just by going to the site and clicking through it...that's it!


All My Best,
Sarah : )

PS: I know my pitch video is a little choppy; I did my best, and I have Lyme Disease - get over it! I do enjoy a good laugh though, and am happy to be the fool for a good cause, soooo if you want to see something REALLY funny, go to my "blooper reel" in the Gallery Section on the website : )

Sunday, June 24, 2012

It's simply "Awe"some...

Photograph by Sarah Lamando

In my life, I've been told a time or two that I'm "good" with words, that I have an innate ability to express how I feel in a way that is totally relatable to others.


In most regards, particularly pertaining to life experiences I've had, I would say that I agree with that statement. In fact, I believe that there is only one experience that I often find myself unable to describe coherently. But...in this post, I will do my very best, and hope that in some way it can be understood by anyone.


There is another aspect that has developed from my experience of being a "Lyme Patient" for so many years that I hadn't realized existed until recently - you may call an emotional side-effect if you'd like : )


Those of you who have read "My Story" and have noticed that I haven't been able to move past the year 2007, might understand that the "fight" I've gone through since that time has, in a way, hardened me, which, I believe, is something that is completely incomprehensible and shockingly debilitating to my normally overly trusting, idealist, and warm-hearted, piscean nature.


I don't want to believe or ever remember the experiences I've had just fighting these past five years. Fighting for my health, fighting for treatment, fighting to be heard and believed, and watching my heart slowly start to harden when I wasn't... hardening more when I lost friends, when desperate acts to help raise funds for treatment were ignored, when I watched my family be torn apart from lack of understanding. All of these experiences are literally "unbelievable" to me. So much so, that I almost don't want to tell the world that such things exist. I'm even ashamed that they do.


So...after having SO many years of these types of experiences, can you possibly understand how entirely "Awe"some it is to watch something unfold in such a beautiful way...in a way that my old self would not only believe, but expect.


The "something" that I am referring to, is the response I've gotten from so many amazing people who are willing to help out with the upcoming campaign fundraiser for Inanna House. I simply am astonished...lol, almost mystified by this, and adamantly need to thank all of the people who are planning on contributing.


Thus far, here's what we got going for us:

  1. A $1,000 Gift Certificate to Crate and Barrel, graciously donated by the Turf family.
  2. A Gift Certificate for a free month of Bikram Yoga from Bikram Yorktown.
  3. A handmade artisan jewelry piece from Cheryl at Lavender Cottage Originals
  4. A Handmade artisan jewelry piece from Etc..Modern Vintage Jewelry donated by Liz Teich. (Follow her awesome fashion blog called "Dear Andi"!)
  5. Signed copies of books from celebrated authors Mara Williams and Katina Makris.
  6. Photographic Prints donated by Jeremiah Katches, an amazing artist and fellow Lyme sufferer.
  7. Handmade Spa Products including Dead Sea Salt Scrubs and 100% pure Dead Sea Mud.

I'm still waiting on a few more inquiries, but know more will come through. To everyone who has given me the opportunity to experience this nearly forgotten sense of grace...Thank You, I am completely:
The campaign will be launched on Indiegogo.com on July 15th, so there's still time to join in on all the great energy and these sincerely moving acts of patronage.

Lastly, I'm so proud to be a part in the creation of Inanna House, and in the last few weeks have been put in charge of sending out their monthly newsletter (Yay!). 

Please check out our upcoming event to see how you can get involved: http://www.inannahouse.org/events.html or contact me at SarahLamando@InannaHouse.Org.

All My Best,
Sarah

Friday, June 15, 2012

Crossing the Celebrity "Red Tape" Divide

Those of you who've read my previous post, "Taking the Initiative For Inanna House," would know that for the past few months I've literally exhausted myself in an attempt to raise funds for this amazing healing facility.
I feel so fortunate and proud that I was at least able to raise close to $1,000 for them, however, from this I've learned one very important lesson, and have also found myself asking one very important question.


I've always had this annoyingly stubborn notion that if you want to get something done, you have to do it yourself, but circumstances being as they are, health-wise at least, I'd liken the experience to being similar to that of a Cancer patient trying to fundraise for the American Cancer Society while undergoing Chemo. Kinda silly, no?


There is a very prudent and heartfelt reason for this kind of idiocy however, and it is this: Unlike The American Cancer Society, Chronic Lyme Disease Patients really don't have an Organization or Society to help them while they are sick, and they especially don't have these types of programs to raise money for those who can't afford treatment. 


This realization got me thinking (oh boy : ) about a simple question.


Would knowing the right people, those of influence in particular, help raise the kind of money needed to make Inanna House a reality?


This question has led me, Mara Williams, Celebrated Author of "Nature's Dirty Needle," and Katrina Makris, Late Stage Lyme Disease Survivor and bestselling Author of "Out of the Woods" form an idea for a different kind of fundraiser...
Indie Gogo is an amazingly successful on-line fundraising platform for various causes, and might just be exactly what is needed to get us to our $175,000 start-up goal. However, it is my understanding that the success of an endeavor like this is solely reliant on the "Perks" it gives to donators. And this is the area I need help in...


If there is anyone out there who has a contact, whether it be a famous celebrity, artist, musician, actor, sports player etc. who would be willing to participate in this fundraiser by either signing  autographs or memorabilia, donating signed by artist music cd's, or even donating products or a service as a "Perk" for a high paying contributor, please let me know - I would be SO grateful!!


I can be reached at: 
Lamandos22@gmail.com


Also, if anyone has any other ideas as a "Perk" for this campaign, I am definitely ALL ears : )


Thanks again,
Sarah


PS: We can't begin the campaign until all "Perks" are noted and accounted for, so please let us know before July 1st.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Taking The Initiative for Inanna House




       INITIATIVE:
 Success comes to the person who does Today what you were thinking about doing Tomorrow.



I remember looking at people who fundraised for various causes, and found myself curiously wondering at their passion, their dedication and, of course, their perseverance. I would look at them and think,"Jeez! What on EARTH lit a fire under that guy's ass!" Lol - you know what I mean...What created that motivation? What happened to them?

Well, one random early April day, I finally got a taste of this elusive fire; it literally exploded within me as I learned that my step-father and mother were, after thirteen years, ending their marriage, and...that this action was partly due to his inability to understand or even accept how Lyme Disease has affected me and my life. 

In fact, he became so adamant and abrasive towards me about the fact that my illness was, "ruining their marriage" that I actually had to leave the house and was graciously taken in by my Uncle and Aunt.

At the time, I was already planning my first Inanna House Fundraiser, but the events mentioned above made me take it to a whole new level. I simply could not process all the emotions I was having regarding the situation, and my role in it, that I found myself obsessively trying to distract myself by creating bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings, Dead Sea Salt Scrubs and Mud to supplement the donation classes that had originally been intended as the main fundraising tool at the Yoga Studio we were having the fundraiser at.

The only thing I was capable of focusing on was the idea of Inanna House, and how it simply needed to exist so that something like an illness tearing a family apart due to ignorance and a lack of resources, such as a place that offered in-patient longterm care for people like me, would never happen to another family again.

Looking back on the last two months, however, I can't help but notice that good things CAN come from seemingly catastrophic events. I don't know how long I will be staying with my Aunt and Uncle, but my time spent here has literally been an oasis of peace...so different from the tension that I suppose I always knew was there when I was living with my step-father and his children. I think I'd have to invent a new word for them, because "gratitude" simply can't contain or even explain the bursts of emotion I feel every time I realize where I am...all I can say is that I haven't slept this well in years!

Although I hate that it happened the way it did, I can also honestly say that I haven't seen my mother this excited about her future in years...she has already sold the house and is steadfast in her decision to move out to Ojai, California with my sister and eventually, me. In my heart I know she has always dreamed of moving to the west coast. 

As for the fundraiser itself, I honestly didn't make as much money as I had hoped for them, but I still have tons of handmade items left that will eventually be sold at other upcoming venues. So, when all was said and done, we made a whooping $655.00, and in my mind...that's a pretty good start : )

Here is a slide show of the event and some of the products we made for the fundraiser:







It would have been impossible to pull something like this off by myself, so I kindly like to take a moment to thank the people who made this event possible:





Kaitlyn Orchanian is an amazing instructor and marketing director at the Bikram Yorktown yoga studio, and is the person I initially contacted to see if "Inanna House" could be part of the studio's Community Karma weekly donation classes designated for non-profit organizations. It is because of her that this event was even remotely possible.




Jane Kartsch is the owner of both the Bikram Yorktown Studio and the Bikram Bronx Studio. I hadn't realized that both studios were participating in the donation classes for Inanna House, and was overjoyed to learn that $350 was donated from these classes alone. Thank You Jane! xo




There isn't enough I could possibly say to Tracy and Tony Mosca (my Aunt and Uncle) for all they have done for me these past months...I wouldn't even know where to begin! 
They have not only given me a safe, peaceful space to heal, but have also supported my fundraising efforts, and amazingly donated tons of supplies for creating jewelry that has been left over from their own six-year, $61,000 worth of fundraising efforts in Yorktown, NY's Relay For Life for the American Cancer Society. This year, on June 8, I'm honored to be joining in on their team and plan on donating 50% of all items sold to Relay, and the rest will go to Inanna House...now, that's what I call a win/win situation : )


Lauren Bova and I have known each other since Grade School. In fact, we were inseparable our Senior Year, and even then I was truly astonished of her unique, artistically funky and creative ways. Her re-entrance into my life has truly been a gift, and I would say that she has been a great muse and teacher to me in my own creative efforts. 


Her talents to create fashion mixed with a deep passion for everything "Green", and an ability to take something old and transform it into something unbelievable and new is entirely uncanny. At the moment, her products such as handmade jewelry, rugs, scarfs, hats, crocheted purses, satchels, and pocketbooks are exclusively sold at Salon Elle in Armonk, NY, but she plans on supplementing this with an upcoming Etsy Shop called Bovella. Look for it in the future and be amazed...here's a taste of what you'll find: 






I'd also like to thank Lydia Cassia, owner of Salon Elle Hair Artistry for lending me ALL the supplies, gift boxes, and wraps, needed to present the products sold at the fundraiser. I literally think she saved me a small fortune by doing so! Thank You Lydia!


When I told my Mother that my "Dead Sea Salt Scrubs" HAD to be organic, I don't think she envisioned spending hours of her time grating two bags of limes so that I could add real lime peel to the concoction, but she did it! She also managed to help set up the event, which meant putting up with my wretchedly incessant OCD remarks about how EXACTLY things should be placed and where. And, she did all of this during one of the most trying times of her life with as much grace as I have ever seen. So, of course, my final BIG thanks goes out to my Mother. I love you! xoxo 




Much Love and Many Blessings,
Sarah

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Crafting The Day Away

Many of you may have noticed that my posts have been scarce this past month. (So sorry bout that...) What I've come to realize though is that energy is a Lymie's most precious commodity, and when you don't have a lot of it, multi-tasking is simply impossible. 


Happily, I can say that I'm not pulling a "disappearing act" this time, but am slowly forging my way towards May, filling my days with crafting projects. Why? Because the month of May is "Lyme Disease Awareness Month" and I've become determined to raise as much money as possible for Inanna House . Lol - I've written about this amazing healing center manifesting its way into reality for months now so I doubt any of you have no idea what I am referring to, but if you don't, please click on the "Inanna House" link above to read more about it. 


I would sincerely like to thank Katie, Jane and Bikram Yoga Yorktown for designating this May's monthly donation classes for the benefit of Inanna House, and for allowing me to set up a table where all the goods - like the decorative votive candles pictured above can be sold to benefit the House as well. 


It does take a LOT of time and energy to create these items, so I'm planning ahead and starting early! (super smart idea : ) 


The best part is that it hasn't cost me a cent! These are things I just happen to have stored around the house or are things that friends and family have donated for the cause. Pretty cool, huh?


Even though it may take me longer than the average person to pull this together, it is SO good to know that I CAN do something to help - Inanna House is a place that I've, at times, literally cried myself to sleep wishing such a space existed for me to go to and heal. How could I not help create it??


So...if you were wondering why I fell off the radar, well...now you know : )


Many Blessings,
Sarah

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Creating a Sacred Healing Space

Most lyme patients spend a LOT of time in bed. Because of this, I would say that one of the most important things you could possibly do is make your bedroom as much of a "healing space" as humanly possible. There are several simple adjustments you can do to make it so - here are a few suggestions. 
  • Stagnant energy is the very last thing that is wanted for any kind of "healing" to take place. Remove all clutter, throw away anything not needed...the idea is to create more space, not stuff it with "things".
  • Doorways are very important in relation to how you are facing them while you sleep. Make sure to align your bed so that you can both see, but not be in a direct line with your main bedroom doorway. Don't be afraid to "cut a corner" if you need to in order to have your bed facing the doorway at a diagonal. You can always hang plants, or buy an easel to place an inspirational painting or picture in that corner behind your bed if you decide to go this way.
  • Never place your bed directly under a window! This has a tendency to drain energy, which is the exact opposite of what you want.
  • As far as bed frames and blankets go. Never go "vertical". If you have a headboard or footboard on your frame with vertical rods in the design - get rid of it! The same goes for vertical patterns on comforters and blankets. Always go with horizontal or non-linear patterns otherwise.
  • Forget about beds that are 10 feet off the ground (lol). You are healing, you need to be grounded, soooo - get closer to it!
  • Colors for your bedroom are usually an individual preference. However, earth-toned colors, in my opinion, are the most healing and grounding. 
  • For those of you who have severe sensory overload issues or EMF sensitivities, one of the MOST valuable tool I've ever come across to help relieve this are Nikken Magnetic Products. I myself own a magnetic mattress pad, comforter, pillow and shoe insoles.  Due to the cost, it has taken me quite awhile to accrue these items, but I NEVER go anywhere without them! If I do - I immediately notice the difference. If you have any doubts about the therapeutic nature of Nikken Magnetic Technology, try buying a pair of shoe insoles first. If you don't immediately feel a comforting energetic barrier start to surround you, forget the rest : ) You can purchase these products at www.Nikken.com 


  • Moving past the bed itself... Buy Salt Tealight Candles or Lamps and light them often. Salt candles releases positive ions, cleanses the aura, the energy of a room, and provides a comforting luminescence while you sleep. (Click on image to purchase.)
  • Sage often with smudge sticks. This ancient Native American Art is palpable - you can literally feel the negative and/or stagnant energy from a room leaving when you do this. (Click on image to purchase.)

  • Remove as many EMF-producing producing products from your bedroom as possible. TV's, computer's, cellphones etc. If you can't remove them, at least unplug them while you are sleeping. EMF's produce negative ions, are shown to weaken the immune system and even cause depression...(hence - the salt candles : )
  • Create a "Vision Board" and hang it on a wall in your bedroom. A vision board should consist of images and words using any kind of medium that you can creatively think of to literally show you what you WANT in your life. If you're sick, obviously images of health and healing, energy, vibrance, freedom etc are thoughts that all should come to mind. Cut out pics in a magazine, or paint them on a canvas...or - do both!! Make it evoke an emotion that gives you the will to strive forward, even on your worst days. Look upon your vision board every day and know that this IS your future...
This is just an example...Be Creative!


    • Assign an area in your bedroom (different from your actual bed) where you can either make an altar or simply place a chair; a place where you can go to everyday and practice a healing art. Whether it be prayer, reiki, meditation, chanting, sitting with mudras or just listening to healing music, create a space that is ONLY reserved for when you are practicing this healing art. Let nobody else into this area. This is your space to heal. You'll notice with time that it will actually start to have a certain energy to it, a healing energy filled with the sum of every accumulated healing effort you have put into it. Eventually, just sitting in this space will be a healing experience.
    • Does anyone ever think about what they do when they first wake up in the morning? Lol - I know from experience that to most Lyme patients, this is the absolutely worst part of the day. (Aghhhh- I can't believe I have to get through another day of this!!! - type feeling, right?) Here's something that may help...Pick out a tiny prayer, saying, affirmation or mantra that suits you and immediately repeat it three times when you first wake up. Then, have a glass of purified water, a "green" vitamin powder, and a spoon within reach. The very first thing you should put into your body after your prayer is something nutrient dense, and a green drink fits the bill. After YEARS of trying nearly every kind of multivitamin supplement known to man, I can honestly say that absolutely nothing compares to Vitamineral Greens by Health Force. If you are interested in purchasing this amazing product click on the image below.
    Lastly, I know that you may need help in creating your healing space - don't be afraid to ask someone to help you set it up! 


    Note: A lot of the suggestions made here follow Feng Shui principles. If you would like to know more about this ancient art, I highly recommend reading the following book: (Click on image to purchase.)





    I sincerely hope you find at least some of these suggestions helpful and wish you all the best, with days filled with an abundance of love and healing.

    Sarah : )


    PS. I know that for a lot of us, leaving the house is often a challenge in itself, so if you are interested in purchasing the salt candles or lamps, tealights, Feng Shui book, sage, and vitamineral greens that are mentioned in this post all at once, I have added them to my "Amazon Store" (link on top corner of page) for your convenience. All of the products except for the vitamineral greens are in the "Sacred Spaces" section. The greens are under "Nutrients". Nothing like having healing stuff delivered right to your door : )

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    A Craniosacral Story

    I remember the first time I stumbled upon Craniosacral Therapy very clearly. It was in the Fall of 2003 and after receiving my then routine Reiki session, I was just about to leave Stonewater Sanctuary when I saw a woman talking to a group of people in an adjacent room. Curiously, I went to see what all the fuss was about, and immediately became interested in this captivating story about a Doctor who had discovered something remarkable about the Central Nervous System, something that at that time had been barely studied or even touched by Western Medicine.


    Against all common knowledge, this woman ascertained that not only were the sutures of the cranial bones NOT fused, but that they even (gasp!) moved minutely in a rhythmic fashion to accommodate the fluid pressure created by the production of cerebrospinal fluid in the 3rd and 4th ventricles of the brain. 


    As this fluid was produced, she relayed, there was a slight expansion in the cranial bones, one that could actually be palpated as the cerebrospinal fluid was being produced, and when this fluid was being reabsorbed, there was even a slight contraction that could be palpated as well. Together, this rhythmic expansion and contraction of the cranium had a cycle of anywhere between 6-12 times per minute. (The variation is in itself an indication of how strong or weak the person's central nervous system is.) This cycle is commonly known as one's "Craniosacral Rhythm".


    Wow! That was a LOT to absorb, and honestly very hard reconfigure in my already, "the skull is fused, the skull is fused" filled mind. I almost didn't buy it. In fact, the only reason that made me think otherwise was when out of the entire group, she picked me to do a demonstration on...


    I hadn't told her anything about me. She didn't know I was still recovering from my first bout of Lyme, and I was interested to see what she would say about my own rhythm. To my surprise, the first words out of her mouth as she placed her hands in the proper position underneath my head were, "Have you been very sick lately, Sarah?" (What!?!)


    I knew no one at the Center could have told her because she was a guest speaker and did not work there or even know any of the other staff, so I simply asked her, "What makes you think that?"


    She laughed a little and said, "Well...probably because you barely have any kind of Craniosacral Rhythm...I must say this is something I haven't seen in quite a while for someone your age."


    I immediately told her I was trying to recover from Late Stage Lyme Disease, and she seemed to understand everything after that, even saying that it was actually a common phenomenon seen in people like me.


    I wondered if that was going to be the end of it, but again, she surprised me..."Let me see if I can help you out." She said.
    I barely felt any kind of movement from her hands, but in seconds I was immediately overcome with a very strong acidic sensation that started to permeate throughout my head. "There." She said, "I just gave it a boost for you."


    I didn't know how to respond, but I didn't like what was happening to me, so I thanked her, got off the table and practically ran out the door. I barely made it to my car when I lost it, tears of such intense emotion poured out like rain. I never thought it would stop. I kept thinking, I haven't cried like this in ages, what's going on with me?


    By the time I was pulled back into my driveway at home, a profound exhaustion came over me, and I silently crept into bed and immediately fell into a dreamless sleep. I woke up 12 hours later.


    What was the most interesting about this experience was that during this time, I often found myself participating in hobbies that I, as my old self, would never even think about doing. Puzzles, sew by number type projects and the like.


    I had even started to make a quilt for my sister...one day, a couple of weeks after my craniosacral experience, I was working on this project when suddenly I stopped and, as if I was looking at the fabrics surrounding me for the first time, thought to myself, "Why would I ever want to do this...?" My personality was starting to come back, my old self, so to speak, and in my heart I knew it had a LOT to do with Craniosacral Therapy.


    Sarah


    PS. In future posts I'd like to talk about how this therapy works more clearly, but for now it's the story that led me to learn this therapy for myself that I wanted to relay.


    Please note: Craniosacral Therapy is contraindicated in Acute Lyme Disease, so unless you have been treated in some form or the disease has become chronic, it would be unadvisable to try. If you would like to try this therapy, I recommend finding a practitioner who has had "Upledger" training. Go to http://upledger.com and click on the links that lead you to a therapist. I would also advise in finding a practitioner who has taken many courses in the field.

    Saturday, February 4, 2012

    Disappearing Acts...

    My friends and family would probably be the first to tell you that I have become quite skilled at pulling "Disappearing Acts".


    To them, this may seem strange, but to me it is an essential survival tactic I use when I simply can't take it anymore. There are markers for these bouts, that I have recently become aware of. Oddly enough, it starts when I begin to get the feeling that if actually hear, read, or write the word "Lyme" one more time, I'm seriously going to lose it, but if I really think about it, it ALL boils down to elementary math. Like so:


    If "A" is equal to the amount of energy I spend creating the facade I use to hide behind basically everything that comes along with an illness like this, and "B" is equal to the energy I mentally, physically and emotionally have at any given time. Then whenever A < B, I disappear.


    Disappearing can be very, very frustrating to people, but I would urge them to not take it personally when I barely say a word around the house, and stare aimlessly at the computer all day. Or when I don't return phone calls, e-mails, texts, and fall behind on this blog; when I basically can literally do nothing more than sleep around the clock.


    I would also like to say that observations of me during this time can be quite deceiving. Those who live with me may have the misunderstanding that I simply become deeply depressed every month or so. However logical that may sound, it's almost laughable how far from the truth that actually is. 


    During this time, I don't feel numb, disinterested or lethargic. On the contrary, I usually am in a world of physical pain that I can't expect you to understand and therefore, respectfully keep silent about it. I don't talk, not because I have nothing to say, but because I am usually sooo mentally disorientated, confused, and emotionally liable that I actually know that it would be in everyone's best interest if I kept my mouth shut : )


    The inspiration for this post has a lot to do with a remark a friend of mine made to me the other day. He said, "When I feel down, I want my friends around me." In truth, I actually understand this thinking, I've been through that kind of "down" before, but I wish to god people could understand that what I am referring to here is not a down, it's a complete "out for the count" type scenario. So please, even if you don't get it - just know we love you, will be taking a few weeks off, and would be sincerely overjoyed to see that you are there whenever it is we are able to reappear.


    Thanks for listening : )
    Sarah

    Saturday, January 14, 2012

    One Very Strange Dream...

    My closest friends would agree with me when I say that, in my life, I've often had profoundly insightful dreams, and in this post, I'd like to tell you about one of them. I didn't realize it at the time, and certainly didn't understand it then, but I do now, and my hope is that the message in it will resonate within your hearts...

    I will tell you this: You will not like this dream at first (lol - you may even think I was having a nightmare!). That's okay, I didn't either, but please, wait for the end.

    If you have read some of my previous posts you would know that as a teenager, I was very preoccupied with the idea of mortality and relentlessly questioned the purpose of life itself. So, it would make sense that I happen to experience this very vivid and unforgettable dream during that time. 

    For some reason, my most memorable dreams often include my sister and our best friend, and this one was no exception. The first thing I remembered was the smell of chlorine, and although there was no indoor swimming pool, the three of us were dressed in black one-piece bathing suits that were reminiscent of the 1940's. Besides that we each had white matching swimming caps on and nothing else. I could feel the rough tiled floor beneath our bare feet, had a sense of a lengthy window that lightened pale blue walls, and illuminated the swirls of steam surrounding us, and for the first time realized we were waiting in a very long line. 

    This particular line was strange - it had rules. It was simply understood that we were all unable to leave it and that we were also forbidden to change the order in which the three of us were standing. My sister was before me, my friend behind, and it seemed as if hundreds of other, men, women and children were both in front of and in the back of all of us.

    There was a buzzing chatter from were we stood. No one could see the front of the line, could understand what we were waiting for, and the taste of fear and apprehension about this fact burned like fire in our mouths. We all knew we were trapped.

    For what seemed an eternity we stood there, slowly moving forward every now and then, penetrating the fog, and desperately hoping to see what fate awaited us. 

    When I did finally see where we were headed, where the line actually ended that is, a wave of shock and horror permeated throughout my body as I watched in utter disbelief as two militant men, grabbed the arms of the first person in line, dragged them over to a pale blue wall, and forcefully spun them around to face an over-enthusiastic firing squad. The person was then asked to count down from ten, and the second they reached the number one, was shot dead and thrown into the pile of unfortunate souls who happen to be in line before them.

    I could feel my body freeze with the stunning realization that I, along with the two people I loved most in the world, were about to...die. Oddly, panic or protest didn't entertain my mind in the least. In fact, although I could not say the same for my sister who was practically roaring in defiance by now, the only thoughts that raced through my mind were ones of curiousity. I wondered if it was going to hurt to die, how would it feel? What would happen to me afterwards? Where would I go? This is really IT...I kept thinking, why aren't I freaking out??

    As we approached the front of the line, I became distraught that my sister was before me, my friend and I tried to calm her hysterics, but she seemed unreachable, and by the time her turn came and she was forced to start counting down, I remember listening as her voice trembled the numbers out loud. I saw her face fill with fear as she neared the end, and then contort into one of absolute rage as she somehow managed to flee her captures and make a run for it. The sounds of shots fired rang out, and I looked away in despair, knowing she hadn't made it.

    I was next in line, and quickly turned to my friend before the soldiers came near, attempting a lame joke by saying, "Well, I hope to see you in a few." We both forced a sad smile for reassurance, and I closed my eyes as I was led to the wall, turned around and asked to start counting. I remember saying the first few numbers out loud with ease, but as I reached five, my pace slowed a bit as my mind began to race again, asking the same questions it had before. I just couldn't believe this was really IT...my voice started to shake but I continued to count down. 

    I heard the shots fire the moment I said, "One," but never felt the bullets. Instead I felt a sensation of swift descent as if I was on a roller coaster ride that had been hovering over the top of a huge drop, and finally released at such an incredible pace that my stomach leapt. 

    The drop seemed to last forever and the speed was lightening fast...suddenly I came to a quick and abrupt stop and finally opened my eyes. 

    Emotions of sheer joy, happiness and...confusion flooded through me as I found myself sitting cross-legged next to my sister and our friend in a bright white transparent-like room. (This dream was SO before "The Matrix" it's not even funny...) We all looked at each other with wonder. Where are we? What happened? It seemed the three of us had absolutely no idea where we were. "Did we die?" I thought to myself, and as if on queue a man appeared to walk through the transparent walls to sit next to us.

    He was unimaginably beautiful - it was his eyes really, I couldn't tear myself away from the warmth, light, and gentleness I saw in them. Seriously, it almost hurt to gaze upon him and that kind of light. He was wearing a reddish-brown cloth that reminded me of some kind of historical monk and his feet was wrapped with ancient sandals. Comforted by his presence I asked aloud this time, "Did we die?"

    He took a moment to answer, but when he did, I couldn't help but notice how his voice held an incredible soothing paternal melody to it. He answered ambiguously, saying that in "our" sense of the word, yes we did in fact die.

    "Well, I replied in awe, what do we do now?" He looked at me and smiled. "Do what I do." he said, and with a wave of his hand the white transparent room instantly transformed into the most beautiful tropical paradise I had ever seen.

    "Do what I do." He said..."Create..." 

    I awoke the next morning with a feeling of complete peace, but I soon became confused. Why did he say create? I had never understood that part. You see this was before all the ideas of the "New Age" movement came with its' Law of Attraction, and movies like, "The Secret". Only after being introduced to these ideas did I finally understand the notion that our thoughts and emotions are truly an incredible creative force, and that the choices we make on a day to day basis about them have a remarkable impact in the creation of our own personal realities...in fact, one might say that they even become our lives. 

    What I am learning from this is that although I cannot control that my illness wasn't "caught early," and because of that am unsure of what my own future entails, but I CAN control certain things that hopefully will have an amazing impact for my future reality.


    I can chose which foods I put into my body, I can forgive myself for not being a "perfect patient" all these years. I can choose to work with my body instead of against it. I can create boundaries for those who don't understand my condition and learn to say NO when they ask too much of me (and not feel guilty about it!) I can allow myself to receive love and healing and be okay about the fact that it may take years to heal. I can put myself first (wow, that's a big one!)


    The last thing I want for myself is to leave this world knowing that I could have made better choices to help myself recover. 

    It may take longer than usual to manifest, but I think, for me, this just might be the lesson of a lifetime. 

    Much Love and Many Blessings,
    Sarah