So good and so very hard, Shawna. I’m a very …

Comment on An Open Letter to My Friends and Family: I Am Surviving by elainemansfield.

So good and so very hard, Shawna. I’m a very new FB friend, but reading this brings me close to your heart and your deep concerns. These “hidden illnesses or disabilities” are mysterious to those who don’t have them. It would be hard for me to see your anxiety, or I imagine that to be true.

I have Meniere’s Disease–hearing loss, tinnitus, dizziness, and sometimes an inability to do anything except lie on the floor until the Valium kicks in. The extreme meltdowns haven’t happened for a few years because I have better meds that prevent them, but I struggle to hold a balance every day. People don’t notice when I’m not quite in my body but floating out somewhere without a thread. They don’t remember I need help with hearing them and reading their lips.

I think it’s our job to speak our truth and help others glimpse what it’s like to live in your world and body. Thank you for being courageous and honest. Thank you for making me feel sweet concern for the illness you endure.

Recent Comments by elainemansfield

Redefining Faith
Big questions. Wise kid. Wise parents. When my sons were young, the community of parents at my meditation center created a Sunday School. We taught the kids to meditate in the gentlest way. Watching the rings in a bowl of water when a tiny pebble was dropped on the surface.. Watching breath. Being aware of bodies. We taught a little hatha yoga. We did Advent gardens and spring planting rites. We had Buddhist stories and Christian ones, Jewish and Hindu and Sufi ones. We celebrated any holiday we could imagine and talked about them, including Celtic cross quarters. The kids hung out with each other every week which might have been their favorite part

She Could Love Herself
Beautiful and wise. Our wholeness has to include the dark side, the “imperfections,” “flaws,” “rejected” parts, and vulnerability. Without loving all of it, there is no depth, no trust, and no true grounded place to stand. Thanks for reminding me, Shawna.

I See Your Power Play and Raise You an Open Heart
Thank you for sharing your soul and having the courage to speak out, Shawna. I’m a privileged woman in outer ways, but that doesn’t save me from being tossed into the Underworld where I deal with events and experiences far beyond ego control. I’m freaked out by the toxic political and ecological situation in this world. I use Nature to ground myself on the Earth and the goodness here. For example, the tallest red pine tree in my forest is my vertical axis. I imagine it before meditation or when I’m doing something scary like giving a talk or a radio interview. My inner tree is grounded and rooted in my feet. I reach up to the heavens with my arms, heart, and voice. That old pine has withstood a few centuries of life. It knows something about staying calm in a storm.


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