Monthly Archives: February 2014

Dear Diary … #dogs who #blog


Dear Diary,

Hello. It is me, Charlie. Murphy. Charlie. Murphy. It is Murphy. I have some things to get off my beautiful, tufted, flaxen thoroughbred chest.

The rodent “dog” that has come to live with us thinks I am a cow. He is super stupid.

Ha ha. “Super stupid rodent.” I should be that for halloween.

He nips at my heels every moment I stand. Or walk. Or stand. Or breathe. He does not know how to walk. He only hops. That makes him a rabbit. I prefer to say “rodent” though.

here i am trying to get him off my leg on a ledge at the Great Falls park. i should have let him have a great fall. i missed my chance.

here i am trying to get him off my leg on a ledge at the Great Falls park. i should have let him have a great fall. i missed my chance.

I like to stand. Now I must sit all the time he is out of his cage, where he belongs forever, or snap and growl at him which I do not like to do because that is unbecoming for a dog of my lineage.

I am a golden retriever. We do not growl. Except at rodents and people who walk up to my front door and want to sell windowssidingroofdeckstrimguttersordoors to my lady. But rodents? We growl at rodents all the time. Like the one here they call Charlie who has come to not go away again.

If he is not nipping at me, he is trying to eat his own tail. He is so stupid.

The lady has started to snuggle with the rodent. That makes me sad inside. Then she gives me a pat and a long hug and some steak. Then it is not so bad.

The rodent does not get steak.

That makes me happy.

I have to go. The rodent is coming back from his time being outside watering the plants and making dirt. He does not do it outside very well. He thinks the inside is our outside. That is what comes from being born in a hole.


Rodent, er, Charlie here.

I am now almost four months old. The lady put a box with a long tube on it against her face and pushed a button to get this image of me:

this is not bad hair.  what do YOU know?

this is not bad hair.
what do YOU know?

Do not listen to that big blonde. HE is the stupid one. We took the lady for a walk the other day. We showed her the giant birds that sit on the frozen water. Murphy said they are “stupid, no-good geese.”

they look good to me.

even far away near the top of this picture, they look good to me.

I am sad.

My image of the lady as perfect has been chewed up and left for someone else to pick up.

She told a lie to a strange man on our walk. First, she let him touch me; that was not so bad. Then she told the man that I am a “Cape Breton cheveaux mauvais” for a breed. The man said, “Oh.”


I overheard her talking to the tall boy a couple days ago. HE said that those words mean “bad hair” in French. Look at that picture of me again. Does that look like bad hair?

And what is Cape Breton but a very cold place where ‘bad hair’ is ok because people wear hats all the days??

far away from south carolina, which is where i am from.

far away from south carolina, which is where i am from.

She said her friend from high school (low school if you ask me) came up with “Cape Breton.” It is a place so far away that no one can say it is untrue because nothing lives there. How can it? It is not here.

Humans lie.

is a stuffed kong as good as freedom? i say no.

is a peanut butter -stuffed kong as good as freedom? i say no.

They make “going to the kennel!” sound very fun. They call me and say, “Come here, Charlie! Time to go kennel!” and they have treats and then they close the door and lock it. When I am finished with the treats, they are in bed. Or watching the pictures on the wall.

What happened there? I lost. That is what happened. I am cut off from the paper on the wall near the always cold water bowl in the small room; I am apart from the things with strings the humans wear on their feet. The lady wears the kind that are long and have fur inside them. I miss those the most when I am in my crate.

I am training them still though. When I go by the door they get up. Fast.

Living here is different than living in South Carolina where there were no rules. I have tried to reach out to Murphy. He is stuck up.


he does not like my blonde jokes.

I love to decorate and arrange furniture. The humans do NOT know how to live.


everyone should have a stuffed toy tied to a string to keep the doors closed. and a floor rug in a dog bed. this is how the world should live.

Nate Berkus better watch his back.

Nate Berkus better watch his back.


here i am having a chat with my cat, Gandalf. I am reminding him how close the neighbor’s house is.

I am also an artist: That mark on the wall? It is a Charlie original. I was helping the lady catch the cat when she had a basket of clothes in her arms. She slipped off the bottom step and the collar she wears on one arm made that mark. I helped her do that.

This is me playing the piano. I was playing the same song again and again: “Chopsticks.” I hate that song. I wanted to play “He’s a Tramp.”

they say i am musical.

they say i am musical. here i am singing the blues.


this is much better than a peanut butter -stuffed kong in a kennel.

I heard the man in the house yell something about snowmen and wanting winter to stop.


this just about sums up how he felt.

But I like winter. I like to sit on the deck and stalk our cat.


i am finally bigger than the cat. here i am encouraging him to go live with the neighbors.

If I can’t encourage him, the lady tries:

dancing cat.

Gandalf is our unhappy dancing cat. here is the lady wearing my favorite foot coverings with strings. this was before she told the lies about me being Canadian. Canadian… of all things. Socialists!

When I am not in my kennel, I am doing lots of things, most of them get the lady to sing out loud at me, “Nooooooo! Charrrrlieeeee!”

this is my hole. do you like it?

this is my hole. do you like it? what?

But even when it is quiet, and I am doing nothing wrong, I am afraid I am doing nothing right. Here I am watching TV with one of the humans.


the small one and i like “30 Rock”; that Kenneth gets me every time.

Murphy told me a joke the other day and I tried to tell him one back. I laughed. He did not.


high four. no? ok.

Because I run everywhere and slide into things, the lady thinks I am a “spaz.” I do not know what that means. I am just getting used to being Canadian. I am a puppy, and that sliding into things thing is normal for me. She gets it but she does not like it when I do this on our walks:

i do not see the problem. i am trying to tell her to relax, slow down a bit... STOP.

i do not see the problem. i am trying let her take in the moment.

Also, she will not let me have the goose food. Do you see that little piece of goose food on the ground? she keeps on calling it “LEAVE IT!” but we all know it is “EAT IT!”

So to stop me from getting her to rest on our walks and to keep the goose food where it is, for the gooses to eat, she got me a collar that a horse wears. I do not like it.


Here I am hiding from the camera. I am ashamed. What has happened to me? I am a Canadian Horse. “Neigh… Eh.” I hate this collar. 


But the small one does not understand how stupid that collar is; so I have trained him to let me pull him wherever I want. Here in this picture, Murphy, the blonde, is trying to catch me laughing at me.


the small one is my pet.

But the lady keeps putting that collar on me.


get me out of this collar.

Bye. For now.

The Most Elegant Snow


The most elegant snow is falling outside. It’s a gorgeous, fluffy and soft-landing snow.

I just returned from an hour-long outing with the dogs after dropping my youngest at school.

Before we left, the snow began. Ever the opportunist, he offered, “Do you think they will cancel school today?”

I smirked at his smirk and shook my head saying, “No honey. The buses are already on the road. And we will be late if we don’t get a move on.”

Charlie, our puppy, about 15? weeks is doing well. He wears a head collar now, to prevent him from hurting his neck and throat with all his enthusiastic pulling. He leads almost every step with both his feet, bounding from his hind legs. He loathes his head collar, bucking.

My son likes to take a leash to walk the dogs on the way to school. Today, I suggested he take Murphy for he is more stable and older and understands not to pull so hard. Today, Murphy was all over the place. Charlie, on the other hand, was more sedate, submitting to the power of the head collar, the premise of which is based on the way to control a horse with a halter putting pressure on the front muzzle “down” and the back of his head “in” as though his mother were correcting him. It calms him instantly, save for the rearing, tossing of his little body and occasional thrust into the snow or earth to release the collar.

We walked along our path system, the dogs and I, after dropping my son. It’s quiet and bucolic back there. The snow falling creating ever more serene and authentic moments. I watched flakes waft down and opened my mouth, eager to catch a couple on my tongue. I admit I have a very poor average.

I read an article this morning about Alec Baldwin, a rant of his proclaiming his so-called retirement from public life. It’s so sad… we are all screaming, in one fashion or another, for relevance. He just does it in a way that is so conflicted, transparent and complicated. Just say it Alec, “I’m a flawed guy. I reacted primitively. I wish I weren’t so interesting but I yearn to be of interest…” it’s ok. He’s so angry inside.

On the walk, I thought about Alec, knowing he wasn’t thinking about me. I let it go.

I noticed when we were beneath some tall pines, the ones that sky rocket fifty feet into the air, that the snowflakes were less dense. I began to feel sad about that, I feared the snow was ending. But I looked up and realized it was because of the pine needles; they were filtering the flakes, so to speak. Then I thought about how much bigger must those flakes be when they initially fall to be as big as they are when they land here, for surely they have broken off along their descent.

We left the path system to walk along the busy big road dividing our neighborhood. Charlie has not been on that roadside yet and it’s important to show him he can survive walking along such mayhem. The snow, the traffic, the noise, the big dog Murphy insulating him on the left and me on his right, he seemed to strut right along; his ears were pulled back, something I remembered from early training with our first dog, which indicates a lot of mental work is at play: taking it all in, from the sights and the sounds and the smells to the verbal commands from the handler to the energy transmitted through the leash. He did alright. When we returned to the path system, he was visibly relieved as his stride increased and he became playful again.

He is sleeping now on his little bed. Murphy is laying by my feet; they both need to be taxed mentally from time to time and nothing seems to do it as well as a long walk on that roadside.

It’s been snowing about an hour and a half now. The cars are covered, rooftops are blanketed. I swept my walk-up to the house’s front door; it’s covered again. I catch myself wondering now if the evening classes and school programs would be cancelled for today. By the time I finished sweeping, it was almost covered again. I knew it would snow, but I didn’t think it would be quite this much, although I am really enjoying it. They say it will be back tomorrow, “a disturbance” they call it; since when is snow falling in winter a ‘disturbance’? It strikes me as quite normal; the 62˚ and sunshine we had yesterday was a disturbance (a welcome one, but a disturbance nonetheless) if you ask me.

When we returned to the house, I decided to let the dogs loose in the back yard off their leashes. I fumbled for my keys to the back door and opened it up while they played. They heard it swing wide and ran in. They’d had enough. For years I’ve been trying to get the boys to use the back entrance to the house; I grew up in a world where family used the back or side entrance and guests used the front door. I don’t think it’s like that in Virginia. People use the front door; not many rear or side doors are included in the houses around here anyway.

My oldest tried out for the high school soccer team yesterday. It’s a very competitive program. He fell and hurt his left leg in one of the sprinting sessions and complained of cold-air induced asthma; a phenomenon I am quite familiar with; when I try to go running in the winter, it’s very hard on my throat, I can’t handle the cold air so I workout inside. I don’t think he will continue with the tryouts. That’s why I wondered about the after-school programs today and whether he will be coming home on time or later. He is much too hard on himself. I am so proud of him for even trying. I want him to find a passion and stick with it. Let exercise be the passion or something else, but not feel a failure if he doesn’t make this team. He will be starting In Cold Blood soon; I can’t wait. I just started it myself. Capote… what a writer! I find myself reminding myself that it’s nonfiction; that he’s turned a true-crime story into a novel. Amazing.

I have nothing really fantastic to say today. Lots of ideas in my head. I just wanted to chime in; record my thoughts about today. My younger brother’s baby was born about two weeks ago. A boy; their third child, second son. I hope we will see him this weekend.

Our second son has big homework due today. We are letting him ride his own wave this semester after banging our heads against the wall for the first semester. We will see how he does. It’s the hardest thing in the world: hoping they find a passion and letting them figure it out. Letting them fail so they will learn how to succeed. It’s a lot. It’s how I figured it out, honestly. My parents did lots of pushing and steering and nagging. I hated it. “You can’t rush a genius,” as Mom always said, sometimes exasperatedly and sometimes with love.

It’s still snowing. I am really glad of it, frankly. People complain of it, “It makes me late for work…” and “We’ve had enough…” I dunno. Why fight with Nature? I love how it all settles after it falls, so quietly, gently and kindly. Firmly encouraging us to slow down and relax.

downy snow.

downy snow.

Thank you.

Pain, Body sides, Chakras, Messages: What’s Your Body Trying to Tell You?! #Yoga #Health #Pain


I’ve been in a fair amount of physical discomfort for several months. On a scale of 1-10, I would estimate that at its peak, it’s an 11 and when it’s tolerable, just a nagging sensation, it’s about a 3. I push through though because I know, thanks to my years of yoga work, listening to my body and reading lots on mind-body pain and medicine that it’s all stress-related.

Caveat: This is a brain dump with little editing. If you have questions, find me on Facebook or send me a note at

Here’s the thing though: it’s all on my right side.

I’ve written about my tennis elbow before.

I’ve written about my interest in MindBody science and the work of Dr. John Sarno or the Rusk Institute in NYC.

I’ve written about chakras, a little.

I’ve never put it all together for anyone to read, at least at this point about what the what my freakin’ body is trying to tell me. But I’ve got a sense now.

Why am I sharing any of this with you? Because I believe our bodies are trying to tell us things all the time.

Here is the status I posted on my Facebook page today:

do you have pain in a majority of one side of your body than the other? for me, it’s my right side. right shoulder, right elbow, right sciatica, right hamstring, right plantar fasciitis… despite the obvious that they’re all related physically (which they are because the fascia connects all of it), they are all related psychically; as the “male” energy is on the right and the “female” energy is on the left sides of our bodies. i’ll be writing about that soon.

And so here we are. Talking about how aging sucks and how our bodies are breaking down right before our eyes.

First, you can slow it.

Second, it’s supposed to break down, but we might be ushering that process along without knowing it.

Cool fact: humans naturally look to the right side of another person’s face to read emotional states because that is where we display most of our emotions. Look in the mirror, see what side of your face is different from the other (unless you spend a great deal of time behind the wheel…).

So yes, the right side of the body is the “male” side; the left side is the “female” side. These aren’t so much myths as they are almost completely unknown in our hemisphere. The Chinese and sages from India had this shit figured out epochs ago. I will also link it up, the right / left side with a rundown of the chakra system.

Wait a sec, backing up … what’s a chakra? Pronounced, “chick-rah”; there are eight primary chakras and something like 80,000 in our bodies. They are invisible energy centers which spin at various speeds either shine brightly or are dull and muddy (per our health). They also have colors assigned to them, respectively. They also have to do with auras. Yeah, it’s woo-woo stuff. Deal with it or go read People Magazine or something. I find when I start talking about this stuff people do one of two things: they pull up their chairs and secretly chant, “YOU GO, MOLLY!” or they roll their eyes and start texting. When I first started studying this stuff, my mom thought I was into yogurt and chiclets gum. Once I explained it, she was all in. And then she whipped out her sketch pad and likely made funny illustrations about monks spinning gum in their yogurts.

Ok, a quick rundown with each of my ailments, starting at the right foot: plantar fasciitis: a horrible pain (a 22 on a 1-10 scale) in the heel or arch of the foot that hurts most upon rising from sleep or rest; once warmed up, it tends to fade away. It is an inflammation of the fascia which is a system of interconnected fibers in our bodies which runs from the heel to the crown of the head out to the finger tips; it’s serious shit, and it can sideline you for weeks, so if you can get in to see a myofascial massage therapist, all the better.

Chakra: first or root, which reflects our “root”: it’s primarily related to issues of the lower back, the hips, our tailbone and our legs. Energetically, it manifests in pain or comfort regarding where we are in the world, our tribal identification, where we came from and how stable we are, from that base, to go from there. Those of us who hailed from exciting and unpredictable homes as children might find that we have back pain or leg pain as we age… and we feel that this stuff tends to “just come out of nowhere” … trust me, it comes from somewhere. You might just need to open your eyes and mind and heart, metaphorically, of course. No need for surgery. What’s a good stretch for plantar fasciitis? Anything that stretches your calf muscle or the warrior or triangle poses in yoga. Also, an extended through the heel plank will do the trick too. Just be gentle to yourself and BREATHE!

More root chakra: Right hamstring and right lower back / hip: sciatica “si-at-ih-ka”; I like to think of this as prisoners chanting “ATTICA! ATTICA” because that’s how I feel: as pissed as Pacino and imprisoned by my body. Holy mother of Abraham Lincoln. This is just … such a frustrating condition. It started for me last spring as a nagging, mildly aching twinge; like a … a dull tingle in the right lower back and hip; just to the right but at the level of those two indentations on our backsides, just above the butt. Walking hurts. Your hamstring gets so inflamed it burns. Your butt aches. When I would cross my leg, right over left of course, it would feel “better” or at least not worse. That crossing one leg over the other is a stretch of the psoas (“so-as”) muscle, a yoke-shaped muscle which helps keep the curve in our lower back. If you jack up your psoas, you jack up your lower back. What’s a good stretch for that? Knees to chest, crossing one leg over the other and twisting to that higher leg’s side. Get a foam roller and prepare to cry like an infant when you use it to stretch your tight IT band which is also a culprit in this situation. Breathing… in yoga: pigeon, triangle, alternate leg stretch, intense forward bend; are you experienced in yoga? revolved triangle is my GO TO! … just be gentle with yourself and yes: BREATHE!

More about the root chakra: color: ruby red; issues: finances (gambling, economy, budget), physical / personal safety, career (do you like your job? is it a good fit for you? can you be yourself?), home (do you want to move? do you like where you live?), needs (enough to eat, wear for you and your family), possessions (cars, stuff, jewelry — too much? not enough? all of this can make you feel unbalanced, which will affect your “footing” in the world).

Moving up… nothing in the spine… Second / sacral chakra: reproductive health; I’m pretty good there. Gah! No I’m not! I was Dx’d with PMDD, premenstrual dysphoric disorder in 2009?, which is completely under control now. I wrote about that… it’s a CRAZY condition which engendered feelings of outright rage and fury on anything with a pulse within a 20′ radius without warning (for me too!) about 3-5 days before my period. I wrote about that here: Living and Thriving with PMDD. Second chakra deals with our ability to create well and in a balanced way, once we understand who we are and where we come from (first / root chakra) thank God…

Chakra: sacral: orange; located in the reproductive / genital area issues: cravings for physical pleasure: food, drink, sex or adrenaline/risky behavior, addictions (food, drugs, blah blah blah… religion, gambling…); your body (sleep habits, exercise, health awareness, vanity: do you/don’t you care about how you look? think about that.) From what I understand, if I worry too much about my elbow, then I affect my 2nd chakra, of course, which then gets my belly in the game…

I have some lovely digestive issues from time to time, that’s the 3rd chakra, which has to do with our ability to DO things.  agh… yes…

Chakra: third: solar plexus; located just at the navel: yellow; issues (take a deep breath): fear, power (being in a position of power: are you afraid of it? are you yearning for it? current or past moments when you felt powerful or powerless: how do they translate today? those twinges: they are trying to tell you something); control (again, fear of being controlled, fear of losing control; past and present and future — pay attention: first chakra at play here too: do you know who you are and what you want? if so, then likely your 3rd chakra is strong. Digestively… are you constipated? What are you trying to keep in and control? What literal and metaphorical SHIT in your life are you keeping in and withholding which basically toxifies you? Do you have the opposite? What are you trying to expel?

Third chakra is also the DOING chakra: “Ok, miss smartypants. You know who you are (root). You have created this thing (sacral), now DO (solar plexus) something with it.” For me, it’s writing the book. It’s the initiate chakra. It’s the put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is chakra. It’s heavy duty and it’s one that brought me to my knees at the yoga retreat. I was all big bad and me; I volunteered because I knew I was weak in that third chakra. So this gorgeous trainer kneeled before me and yelled at my stomach, “WHERE ARE YOU GOING?! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” and that was it. I was out. I never felt so powerless. It sucked. But it has got me thinking and I’ve never stopped.

Moving up…

Right elbow; “tennis elbow” or “tendinitis.” Tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendons. If I could blame doing laundry and constantly emptying or loading the dishwasher for this condition, I would. The problem is, the union here sucks. I have no rep. I am my rep. Tendinitis has a lot to do with either repetitive stress injuries or rheumatic diseases. I don’t have anything rheumatic going on. What does tennis elbow feel like? How do you know if you might have it? When you simply try to lift something using your thumb and your fingers and lifting mostly from the elbow using the forearm. Pain occurs when you try to unload a mug, plate, boulder, puppy from the dishwasher and instead of being able to do that, you cry and curse. That. I have been once completely immobilized by this … condition in both elbows almost immediately after burying my mother. What else is covered by tendinitis? Grasping, holding, controlling, steering, lifting, releasing… all of it. What helped me? In yoga, lots of down dogs, wrist flexing exercises and rest. Outside of yoga, a band I wear which keeps the tendon pressing on the muscle and bone, lots of cursing and ibuprofen. I had a couple shots of cortisone, but … this is mental with me. I know it. My left side is fine now, my right is about 90% done. My right is repetitive. This is telling me something about my male energetic tendencies. I have smelled like a human vat of BenGay. I have used SalonPas patches which I will say right now: ROCK.

How have I functioned with tennis elbow with two dogs, three sons, a husband and life? Somehow I managed to lift things as though performing a bicep curl. Or, as in the last few weeks, I’ve resorted to asking my husband and children for help. Imagine that. I also had a pain in my upper right back / shoulder that I called the “Twizzler from hell” because it was about the diameter and density of a Twizzler. I figured it out though, I started to notice when it was bugging me: when irrational women with insane issues got too close. Once I eliminated that, it was better. But it still comes and goes when I deal with what I consider to be immovable feminine energies. So both those issues, the Twizzler and tennis elbow reside / belong to the fourth chakra….

Chakra: fourth, or heart. emerald green. Yikes. There it is. Love. My arms extend from my heart chakra which begins at the midpoint of the chest and includes a little bit of the shoulders and definitely the arms. The fourth chakra is a big deal because it’s the beginning / gate to the upper chakras, which have more to do with the esoteric in our lives: the unseen stuff stirring around in our minds. While the first three chakras are more concerned with the physical world: stuff, material, who we are, what we do; the upper chakras don’t dabble in such nonsense. They go straight to the soul, the spiritual, the stuff we don’t like to talk about at cocktail parties. Right here in plain writing: “the heart chakra is affected by thoughts and feelings related to… >inhale< mother, father, stepparents, grandparents and other family members; past lovers, friends, spouses; friends, co-workers; employers, teachers, peers and [even] strangers.” (p8 Chakra Clearing, by Doreen Virtue)

Basically, how do you feel about any one of these people in your life? I’m gonna throw in dogs and cats and other “pets” too (I put ‘pets’ in quotes because if you have an animal living with you, you have an opinion about that animal and that opinion is tied to your heart chakra). It has a lot to do with giving and receiving love, emotional intimacy.

Issues: love (divine love from God and your inner / higher self) including friendships and platonic love. And dare I say “hate”? Can’t have one without the other. People attachments (dysfunctional relationships and codependency >SWIFTLY RAISES HAND!!!! ME ME! PICK ME!< or obsessions about a person >ME! AGAIN! ME!< … but I’m getting much better. I loved my mom. I really did. My arms are tired though. Forgiveness or unforgiveness toward organizations, yourself or others living or dead known or unknown to you — listen people, we’re all a little crazy. I’d be lying to you if I tried to tell you that I wasn’t affected when Philip Seymour Hoffman died, in a way I myself had a hard time understanding. Another aspect to the heart chakra is its relationship with clairsentience: an extrasensory way of communing with knowledge: intuition, clear feelings about something, guidance. Do you get those feelings and blow them off? Try sitting with that idea for a few moments. Yoga for heart chakra: down dog, interlaced hands behind back with gentle bend in the elbow, goddess pose, triangle pose, bridge, camel, bow, warrior 2… anything that will open your heart and chest and make you feel completely vulnerable. Do it. It will help. Oh, and sitting like this too:

Right. Roll a beach towel into a 5″-7″ wide column. Lie along it with your tailbone unsupported and your back of your head just at the nape of the neck unsupported. Lie there for several minutes and breathe. Let the floor hold you up and sink into the roll. That will help you open your chest.

Moving right along… this is a big one and I had TONS of sore throats, tonsillitis as a child. I still get strep occasionally. Do you lose your voice? What about if your tongue swells up? Look, I’ll admit this: sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Other times… think about what you’re repressing or holding in; it can MAKE YOU SICK… My upper back bugs me a lot, my right shoulder hurts a lot. This is connected, I have no doubt, to my need to muscle through / or “man up” about certain aspects in my life. Repetitive patterns with certain types of people… it gave me the Twizzler.

(My! This is a long post!)

The throat stuff? Fifth or “throat” chakra: sky blue; located at the midpoint or Adam’s apple area of the throat, includes the nose. Issues surrounding the health of the fifth chakra include: COMMUNICATION! Do you speak your truth to loved ones? Coworkers? Classmates? Peers? Your audience? Your boss? Do you communicate clearly? Don’t know if you do? Read “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz; you will have a better understanding. Do your projects aptly represent you: your writing? Your art? Your designs? Your teachings? Do you voice your needs for help to God, your friends, your boss, your inner self?  Can people hear you? Do you feel like what you will say won’t matter so you don’t bother?

Think about this! Yoga for the throat: neck rolls, start out with your chin dipping toward the chest and take some nice long breaths, feeling the fibers stretch on the backside beneath your head and radiating alongside the neck into your shoulders. Release your jaw. Are you a jaw clencher? Run your tongue along the outside of your upper and lower teeth. A yawn will come. Let it. Another idea? chanting. Sing! Recite! Call someone and speak on the phone. Go to the grocery store and ask for assistance; when you’re in traffic and you need a spot in line, ask for it. Might not get it, but get in the habit of speaking up for what you need. Need? Did someone say Need? Check back on that root chakra? Do you have hip and throat issues? Just wondering… my mom had horrible hip and back pain as she aged. I don’t think she ever really asked for what she really needed.

Sixth and seventh chakras are all inside your head. HA. No, they are. These chakras concern your ears and eyes. As I child, I suffered UNBELIEVABLE ear infections. I still have moments when my ears seem to feel “off” or congested for no reason.

The ear chakras (there are two: six and seven) are violet red (which is how my ears feel from time to time, frankly) and they have to do with communication and Divine communication, in the way of God, intuition, inner knowing and your desire or reluctance to hear messages from the spiritual realm. Here’s a fun thing: do you have situations with certain people where you hear one thing and they say another? What about mental playback of conversations or situations with people which might’ve have been difficult? Verbal abuse? Negative feedback… if your ear chakras are clear, you can have a better relationship with not only other people, but with yourself and with your intuition and you can build and hone clairaudient skills to hear messages or impressions from angels or God. We run into problems with our ear chakras when we have resentment or hold grudges against those who have said negative or hurtful things or things that are hard for us to hear. According to Virtue, the ear chakras also can become unbalanced when we turn away our ears in fear from the truth, be it “in the form of intuition, or Divine guidance from God.”

The eighth chakra, the “brow” or “third eye” chakra; dark blue; between the eyes. On the yoga retreat I went on last summer, we did a ton of work with the third eye chakra, mostly in a physical sense, to get an idea of what it’s like in our bodies, because we already know what it has to do with in our metaphysical bodies. According to a lot of literature on this stuff, this third eye is our highest self, and it is turned back toward you because everything you need is “in” you already. Well, ok, here’s me sitting on that bus wondering: if that’s true, then why the chit chat about God and Divine guidance? Your third eye represents everything you think, feel and do. It has to do with  and it has a lot to do with headaches, migraines, intellectual distortions.

The third eye is affected by your thoughts and feelings relative to your future (your desire to see what is in store for you — on the path you’re on, or if you change it…); the past (how you see your past: are you fair, are you biased? were you victimized? were you abusive?); and your ability to believe in a spiritual realm (angels, apparitions, heaven, etc.). Virtue writes about conditions that the third eye is in when you close your own eyes and visualize it; whether its lid is open or closed, whether it is clear or cloudy.

Ok. So there’s one more, a major chakra, the “crown” and this one is sort of the mother lode of them all. Different people say different things about its color, but the prevailing opinion is that it’s a white-hot purple and it sparkles. It is located at where else, but the crown of our heads and it deals with our ability to receive thoughts, and our “claircognizance” which is “clear knowing” and our relationship with the Divine. How do you feel about God? Do you feel close? Apart? Indifferent? What are your thoughts on spirituality? Another biggie to me is “trust” — our ability to receive and give trust to thoughts and impressions we experience from an ethereal plane.

So here’s the deal: this is a lot of information. Sometimes, as I said, a cigar is just a cigar. But for me, I know that I have fourth and first chakra issues … aww, hell, I have almost all of them to deal with.

What does any of this have to do with my right / male / masculine side? It has everything to do with it if you’re me.

The left side is also the side that speaks to our right brain, the so-called “creative” and inventive half of our brain. If my left side aches, it means that I’ve perhaps been too free or allowing or have tried too hard to come up with creative solutions where simple logic will to do the trick. There is no need for creativity and head-banging, it’s a situation of simple process.

The right side is the side that speaks to our left brain, the so-called “logical” and rational half of our brain. To me, if my right side aches it means that I’ve tried to also be logical about things, perhaps in a situation where logic is useless. It’s about control, it’s about forcing and it’s about other things as you’ll read below.

Regarding the pain on my right side: from the back of my neck to the arch of my foot, it means that I’ve tried for a long time to muscle through life; that I’ve forced myself through things, that I’ve denied my softer more vulnerable side; that I’ve denied my needs, because “needy” was wrong; that I never asked for help and that I don’t do that so well still. I will likely take me a ton of pain (which I’m experiencing) on my right side for me to finally pay attention and take notice. I denied my left side, even though I’m left-handed, because it is my softer side, it is the side that represented my mother, in the most subconscious way; and all my life, I tried to live not only as the Non-Mimi, but as the Anti-Mimi: my nickname was “toughie Turner” and boy did I live up to it.

So now she’s gone. I didn’t mean to make this post about her and my grief, but my right side aches and I know this: my love for my mother was deep and profound but not enough to save her; that I was never meant to save her; that no matter how much I muscled through, she wasn’t mine to save. That sucks.

I also know this: that when I back off, and rely more on my feminine side, when I let go from muscling through, when I ask for help, when I rely on others, when I am OK with not having all the answers, when I laugh more gently, when I speak more softly, and when I breathe with kindness into my fourth (heart) chakra, the pain starts to fade away and melt into the ether.

What are you holding on to?

What are you repressing?

What are you keeping at arm’s distance?

Think about how you muscle through life. Or is your left side in pain? Do you not push yourself enough? Are you too easy? Do you fall victim a lot? Do you feel helpless? I have never been considered helpless; but if I don’t start to figure this stuff out, I will be helpless…

Yes, sometimes a cigar is a cigar. But sometimes, what if it’s not? What if it’s YOU?

But wait, there’s more! How to balance or clear the chakras? You can google or youtube a TON of videos and view them free. Doreen Virtue is VERY California, so she has um, like a delivery, that is sooo like, soothing, and like … yeah. I can handle it, but not all the time. Look for some that you might like. Listen to them with headphones on and see how you feel when you’re finished. Sometimes it’s just nice to sit still for a bit.

Thank you.

Ps: Here’s another step I’m willing to take, and it’s controversial but worth a second or fifth look: think about a possible link between these issues and any cancers in people you know.

Women: uterine, ovarian, vaginal cancer; men: prostate and testicular cancer: 2nd chakra area. Breast and lung cancer: 4th chakra area. Throat cancer, 5th chakra… Lots of alcoholics and those with eating disorders have throat issues; perhaps because they feel mute or voiceless, unheard. So they act out and their issues manifest in sickness.

Is it related? Who knows. Don’t rule it out. How can you be more open or less open in those chakras to protect yourself?


Once one gets used to the chakra system and thinking in this way: “What’s this telling me? Is this just a cigar? Am I sure?” Then the process takes a whole new turn. One night after a very intense and busy weekend of yoga training, I was supposed to go to an Eagles concert. I was wiped out. I don’t even really like the Eagles. My husband wanted to go; it was a client-work thing. I got a HUGE knot at the base of my skull, on the right side only. It was excruciating. Male side, 5th/throat chakra. I took 4 motrin which barely put a dent in it. I was suppressing my thoughts, I wasn’t telling him how I felt. I also was muscling through. This whole experience shed light on how I deal with the males in my life aspect in all of this. This headache lasted for three days, and I simply don’t get headaches. I got to the retreat. Early on, the first evening of the retreat, I spoke to one of the other students about the pain, she’s a reiki master.

She put her hand over the pain and she said, “Your man got you to do something and you didn’t debate it even though you should’ve, huh? You let him win… You need to speak your truth.”


That was it. I agreed it, I called him and told him that I didn’t want to go to the Eagles concert, that I felt like he was making me do it and even though I don’t care for the Eagles and this client was a mutual friend of ours, I needed a break and he sort of pressed me into going. >Poof!< the pain went away. Immediately. Never came back.

There is a lot to all this. Look up “Intuitive Listening,” a CD of recorded conversations on Mind-Body communication by MonaLisa Schulz and Christiane Northrup; it’s mind-blowing.

This is a fun link: What does your body look like (heat signature) in various emotional states?

Very cool video for chakra balancing: