Co_creation a la LYNDSEY

Life as a lava lamp

This won't hurt a bit! / silliness. laughter best med...........>>>

I flew down the barn loft ladder and ran barefoot to the dock, stripped down and plunged. Surrounded. Safe. Submerged in the dark cool of the farm’s pond, held in the secret soundproof water, I thrashed and screamed for the better part of an hour.  Roaring churning mouthfuls of rage, stroke up for a gasp, sink down and thrash.  Up gasp, down thrash. Washing-machine; womb. Water has always been my secret keeper, since swim team practice days of youth when I’d hide the day’s tears or the song in my head deep in the underwater world. Now: Breaking invisible chains, sending strings of psychic expletives to the legacy of oppressors I’d obeyed with expert compliance my whole life – some I’d met, some I’d never.  Magazines full of body image standards, my past pastor’s monopoly on a masculine & punitive God, dumb boys who ignored my No, an intuition-stifling education system, a corporatocracy that undervalues creativity… ..and how I’d sometimes believed in and settled for my own meek powerlessness. ?!?!?!?!?!  A n g e r. I’d heard about this. Up til now, it had been a vague rumor.

What had pressed “Eject?” It was Clown Camp at the Possibility Alliance – alas, no simple laughing matter!  “Superhero Clowning for Social Justice,” August 2010, was hysterical, full of giggles and romps and games but so precise at breaking open layers of pretense, stuffed pain, anything that blocked total authenticity. The barn loft was the classroom that held the “rasaboxes”, an invitation to step into and ‘try on’ the breath and postures of various emotions.  Little did I know what was in store for me when I stepped into Rage.  The feminine fury that lives in my belly and won’t settle for the suffering inherent to our present world’s imbalance woke up.  Here’s the story of how my body eventually followed suit to molt the filters that no longer serve my soul in shining its light.

Nine months ago today I woke up with skin like oozy bubble-wrap. Good morning face! WTF?! Wet, tender sores covered my face, ears, and neck. Burning boils on my shins. Overnight, my body had transformed into an unrecognizable, foreign landscape. Pause? Guess I have to postpone that interview til next week…..

I made an appointment with a medical intuitive and one with a homeopathic doc. I drank a lot of water. I slept. The health reading pointed to the need for inner cleansing –a liver flush and probiotics, as well as some personal support toward how this outbreak fits into my life’s sacred contract.  The doc gave me a few new words: “acute dermatitis with methicillin-resistant-staphleococcus-aureus (MRSA) cellulitis” and supported my natural approach. She did extensive allergy tests, suggested some homeopathic remedies, and wished me the best. For these ailments, western med has corticosteroids and antibiotics to offer; the former offers temporary suppression of rash symptoms with no support for the root cause, and the latter produces more evasive and stronger strains of this resistant staph bacteria.

So it was me and herbs and my blue sleeping bag for the long haul.  Which I thought miiiiiight mean, like, two or three weeks? Tops.

I stepped up as cheerfully as possible to this latest gift-disguised-as-challenge from the universe, and dug into my research.  Eczema, or ‘atopic dermatits’ is common ailment and reputedly incurable, the typical approach is to do the best you can making symptoms less obnoxious ~ oatmeal baths, thick creams, anti-itch medicine.  I’d had patches of psoriasis since my teen years, slathered on the prescribed topical steroid and forgotten about it.  But this was new, an aggressive occupation of my entire epidermis. The more I read, the more I learned that eczema is increasingly traced to food or environmental allergies and leaky gut syndrome. The skin as our largest organ of elimination is a last-resort escape hatch for toxins when the liver is out of whack or the belly lining is weak. So I turned my attention inward, quit coffee (eeek!) and proceeded to undertake a massive, month-long fast and cleansing of my colon, liver, and kidneys.

Meanwhile I felt like shit. The eczematic raw skin is susceptible to infection, and in my case, MRSA found an opportune host. This flesh-eating bacteria often leads to lancing and Vancomycin via hospitalization, but is increasingly unphased by their arsenal of heavy-hitting antibiotics, so I decided to treat the boils with a minced garlic compress which burned like the dickens. The rash continued spreading downward; my skin was in turns hot, oozy, flaky, and super itchy. Sleep was erratic; the infection made me super-tired; clothes were terribly uncomfortable; and I was freezing all the time. I felt brazenly sensitive – the slightest deviation in temperature, thought, or environment would send me reeling, itching like a nervous tic.  Molting was not a metaphor, it was a reality.  I felt floaty, fuzzy, ejected from my ‘normal’ life – I cared about very little.  Sort of in shock, I entirely withdrew from people, work, and projects.  Going out was not in my frame of possibility – I wanted to hide from the wind, the sun, from humans, from the intensity and hideousness of my feelings. Bathtime was my sole consolation. Stillness. Can I be equanimous with this?

Frida Kahlo's _What the Water Gave Me_ ~ what my life felt like for the month of escape to the bath tub. Top: Cellulitis finally ready to ooze; Healing scabs; Turmeric compresses

Swapping roles - Adam and the apple, inviting me to some true inner healing of the knowledge of good and evil

About then is when the phrase “healing crisis” came into my frame.  Culturally we are so trained to equate getting better with feeling better, yet at times true healing has to include feeling and receiving the body’s messages which have been ignored, however uncomfortable that truth is. The homeopathic doctor Constantine Hering’s Law of Cure describes the direction of symptoms in a healing crisis:

From above downwards.
From within outwards.
From a more important organ to a less important one.
In the reverse order of their coming.

If you’ve had symptoms that have been repressed for years, full healing will retrace those steps.  The experience of toxins being released and flushed out can be hugely difficult to bear through, but also perfectly on the path to healing.  My partner JR repeatedly praised the perfect knowledge of all my cells doing their perfect work, and called me to bravery: “The only way out is through…”

So I let go. I gave myself over to the whole process, without dictating how long it needed to take or what it needed to look like. Why waste time in the cocoon wishing I were flying? It will come. I committed to full healing, mind + body + spirit.  JR’s encouragement and holistic health wisdom were stalwart company.  Something softened: I learned to let myself be unconditionally loved. Dressed in huge hoodies and cotton shirts I’d ooze right through, gaunt from weeks of juice fasting, moody and emotional and totally gross, still – he held me in the highest regard and nursed my needs, beyond all my resistance.  He brought me tea, challenged me to move my body and get fresh air when I was able, accompanied me to the dark corners, set an amazing example of self-nurture, and held me while I cried.   With this permission, powerful shifts started happening.  Old hurts loosened and healing messages came through my dreams.

‘Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food’ became came the dictum of our household. Garlic and turmeric compresses had successfully healed the infected cellulitis, and now we focused on flushing out the gut: green juice, green smoothies, green salads.  I had a heroine’s story of hope to follow: Donia’s if-i-can-do-it-you-can-do-it protocol offering at became my bible.

As I opened, teachers and support came out of the woodwork…. Funny how that follows, once I was a willing and worthy recipient, I received a barrage of terrific resources on exactly how to engage the mind+body game of healing. Superstar love-beam Kris Carr learned she had liver cancer and launched into an intimate, autobiographic documentary called Crazy Sexy Cancer about her learning curve living with the diagnosis and connecting to other survivors. Her proactive strategies and bright bravery inspired me to fully engage the opportunities inherent in my own, present life-makeover – I highly recommend downloading the crazy sexy manifesto and jumpstarting your own personal revolution!  She writes, “”This self-care thing is bigger than many of us imagine. The pursuit of personal health, spiritual wealth and happiness is actually a political statement, a peaceful protest and a powerful act of love. Why? Because in order to care for ourselves in a full-tilt-boogie-I’m-gonna-walk-the-talk sorta way, we must rebel against the broken systems that support dis-ease and dismantle the status quo. We can’t wait for special interests, government policies, subsidies, agribusiness, factory farming, pharmaceutical industries and advertisers to change. But we can get off our sofas, vote with our forks and knives and heal the way we eat, drink, and think.” Speak it, sister.

The godmother of affirmations, Louise Hayes,’ You Can Heal Your Life became my coffee-table go-to for pick-me-up quickies.  Suggesting the link between our thoughts and physical manifestations, she invites us to reconsider our patterned thinking and offer new mantras to the internal critic. “I suck” becomes “I accept myself just as I am now.”  “That’ll never happen” becomes “I am capable of making positive change.”  Specific to skin and scratching, she offers: “I feel safe to be me;”  “I release distractions from my deepest inclination;” and “I am at peace just where I am. I accept my good, knowing all my needs and desires will be fulfilled.”  When we’d make fun of SNL’s Jack Handey as kids, I never realized – ummmm — that would be me. ;0)

So I became more curious.  If I entertain for a moment the metaphysical underpinnings of this overwhelming physical manifestation, what does it tell me about how I’ve been being in the world? I found a resonant answer in Radical Healing, Rudolph Ballentine’s amazing compendium of integral health – east meets west meets internal meets external. He writes:

The diseases of homeopathy’s first miasm, psora, are functional, that is, they don’t generate structural change. Most typical are rashes on the skin that are red and itch. The fundamental mindset, the mental/spiritual posture that this miasm expresses, is one of being distracted from your deep and most authentic inclinations by the appeal of what you see others doing — in other words, of itching to do what isn’t really you. For a whole host of reasons — including a fear of assuming the power that is yours — you resist your special destiny. You come to see your own path as less compelling, despite deeper impulses that would push you toward it. The grass may seem vastly greener where others stand, and what they are doing may appear more exciting. Such attitudes create a strong desire to operate from outer rather than inner directedness. While in this psoiric state, you resist that inclination, but you are burning to give into it, and your energies are so caught up in the struggle with yourself over whether to do so or not that they are not available for such functions as digestion or assimilation, and you are therefore increasingly subject to deficiencies.

I reflected on the truth of that in my life, the way I have had a habit of resisting my own gifts, preferring to see everyone else’s life as beautiful and their talents pristine while putting myself down as Not Enough, only registering my failure.  I’ve been increasing awareness of this – but still fall prey to the pattern. The searing urge to scratch I came to feel as a reflection of my history of self-hate – literally despising the skin I’m in, physically tearing it off.   I found this in my journal from the early days of the outbreak:

Journaling was a great barometer. My body raised the uncomfortable mental reality to a level that could no longer be denied or put up with. Things had to change.  And they were.

******************************JR painting a wall in our bedroom: Now's Wow, Babe. Now is Wow." ****************************** (said to the cadence of "Zed's dead, baby. Zed is dead.")

It had been about six weeks into the adventure. I finally felt aware of the variables, equipped to do the work, committed, moving into a deep patience, a profound sense of compassion for myself, a soul- invigorating inquiry of how to live fully into a new way of being. JR was getting ready to leave for a season-long natural-building internship at the Possibility Alliance, and now I’d be largely on my own — building on the foundation we began together.

I dropped him off at the farm, and spent a week at home with my parents receiving the particularly potent mama-TLC.  My fashion was pretty happening at this point — feet too swollen and syrupy for shoes, so I’d slug them into thick socks and giant old man slippers.  My hands the same, raw and arthritically engorged – slipped into modified socks as wrist guards to protect the delicate flesh.  Mama bought me color coordinated cotton warm up sets, coo’ed  at improvements, and fed me my favorite Moosewood carrot soup. I sat with Papa while he watched golf, and I felt totally loved. Whatever resentment had clouded my perception during my twenties dissolved into total appreciation and conviction that We Are All Doing The Very Best We Know How So Far.  Feeling more hopeful than ever at my impending healing, I returned to STL.

The house felt so empty without JR, and taking care of myself took all the energy I had. I’d stare down the dishes, which were so painful to my swollen sensitive hands. I discovered gloves. For the laundry, I’d take the stairs slowly, one at a time. It felt ridiculous that all my energy was taxed at a to-do list that include only my basic needs, but I gave in to that focus and the mechanism of gratitude that carried me through. There’s always a lens through which I’m lucky, lucky, and free……

As I built up strength, I started to plan the next task: say goodbye to my studio and shrink its contents to fit into a room in my apartment.  The allergy tests had revealed an off-the-charts allergy to dust. OOoof: My bright, 1000-ft nook of the 200-year-old Lemp warehouse cornered the market on dust….. thick, ancient, omnipresent, caking everything.  It was time to lighten up and breathe easier. As soon as I had enough stamina to walk the four flights up, I started to take a few hours an afternoon to sort out what I needed and what I could give away. As always, the process of “Atnas-ing” my own life rewards me with incredible lightness of being — letting go of built-up ‘what-ifs’ and all their material tethers stung at first, but then built momentum to be a totally joyful process. Friends aided the schlep with laughter, love, and pickup trucks. My final studio sale afforded me the gift of connecting with lots of beloved folk I hadn’t seen for months, as well as making much needed income after months out of work, selling and bartering art.

Back in my apartment, sorting out my new studio and starting to regroup, I had to contend with a sudden, mighty feeling of smallness. I felt tiny, stripped of dreams and plans and projections. No longer so drawn to Cherokee Street or community organizing at CAMP, indifferent to making paintings, unsure of how to contribute. Laughable, how little the world needs me! Out of work, absent from the art scene, retreated from circles of friends…. What matters? Where can I fit in meaningfully? What do I want to offer? Ken Wilber, in Grit and Grace, writes about his wife Treya’s dance with recurring breast cancer, fusing his integral inquiry alongside her journal excerpts. In one entry, she writes:

“I’m also feeling humility lately. I’m seeing more clearly how the things I’m dealing with in my life, the problems that come up in my friendships and in my marriage, my interpersonal problems, my doubts and fears, problems with money, questions over how to contribute to the world, uncertainty over what my calling is, wanting to find meaning in all the pain we go through. . . . how all of that stuff is almost exactly like the things everyone else is working with. I think there’s always been a part of me that felt like the little girl in the white house on the hill, that somehow the rules weren’t meant for me, that I was different. What I’m discovering through all of this is how I’m not different, how my issues are archetypal issues that other humans have been working with for centuries. And the feeling that comes from that is a new kind of humility, a new level of acceptance of things as they are, a new sense of okayness about things being as they are. And – which is nice – a greater sense of connectedness with others, like we’re all parts of one being working on these issues and growing through that process. Like I’m not different also means I’m not separate.”

I found the humor and took solace in this Every(wo)man revelation that I’m a tiny dot, just suffering and celebrating alongside 7 billion other tiny dots. Huge souls.

Nothing. Everything.

From this consideration grew a huge peace, and a desire to reach out to friends again, to sense that interconnection in action. I had been so consumed by my pain I had felt I had nothing to share, reluctance to be witnessed in such weakness. Ready to receive, I sought out my healers…..reiki at the gentle hands of Naado-Doa; craniosacral therapy during community hours at Cheryl’s Herbs with Robin, Mike and Josh; and twice weekly acupuncture with Brian and John at Community Acupuncture. Brian Harasha and I had swapped art for healing support so weekly trips to his healing lair at “Humblebee Village” took me on adventures from wheatgrass juice to the infrared sauna to the RIFE machine, and we’d share our woes and joys of being spirit embodied.  Kristina, super gentle & gifted colon hydrotherapist at Holistic Fitness, massaged my belly while all my $hit shook loose. Kelsey constantly had my back with frequent phone support, coaching me through powerful EFT sessions when i felt stuck in choosing pain. One day Micah and Caleb and I rendezvoused at the Tower Grove pool pavilion, and they simply, wordlessly, but so powerfully cradled my feet and head with love, love, love while I laid by the fountain. Mama’s Little Healers, indeed. Sometimes reaching out was hard…. One particular night, unable to sleep, overcome by pain, I called my dad in the wee hours of the morning – a first in our relationship. It surprised both of us I think, but it was amazing to let him love and share strength with me at such a vulnerable point, small talk not possible – just pure and present care in action.

Must….keep….on. Perseverance was the name of the game at this point. Skip the need for immediate feedback or ‘improvement’ and keep eating clean, exercising, thinking bright possible thoughts, and being patient and compassionate with frequent glimpses of my shadow.  It will come. But I’d wake to sheets full of shed skin and overwhelmed at the upkeep time and cost of organic eating, juicing, and washing every surface my body touched in effort to de-colonize my body and environment from staph.  Desperation set in when the water-damaged plaster roof of my office caved in at the same time our basement flooded with sewage. Really?!  My  landlord-friend and I had to laugh.  He was also attending to aligning, healing, cleaning house/brain, facing and releasing negative habits.  The harmony between our internal-external universes was comical. From an equanimous state, I could appreciate the design of each instance drawing me into surrender,  honoring destruction as a necessary part of the cycle of life.

I hit an all time low when a check-in with my doctor, who by now felt more like an encouraging coach who commended my research and effort, confirmed a bacterial culture still MRSA-positive. I conceded to an antibiotic, which I turned up allergic to. I saw an infectious disease specialist, who was more worried at the open skin from eczema than staph and so prescribed one of the heaviest-hitting topical steroid creams, Halebetasol. Then – - instantly –  I had skin!  I was overjoyed, even though the skin seemed to have grown over the infection. It was just amazing not to be oozing.  For about a week. Then – as quickly as it came – the “healed” skin left.  The eczema had been suppressed and so returned with a vengeance, and the infection was still raging, now worse than before.

Thud, rock bottom. Give in. Nowhere to run.  Neck raw, both wrists raw – as if shackles of pain. Why neck and wrists? Voice and choice. When I was taking care of myself, I’d get the sensation that I was trying to escape but stuck. Images of shackles and pillories loomed in my mind’s eye. Whether or not my soul was having a past-life memory, my heart felt connected in time-space to witchy women who were punished for their sacred wisdom. I grieved their punishment. I grieved the oppression and imbalance that suppressed feminine knowing and still does. I felt into my heart to open as much as I can to make it right, in my life, in my world. In this lull, a comforting exercise was to paint my lady heroes, women who have spoken their truth and shined.  My mama, humble giver lady hero, showed up to cheer me up, power-disinfect my house with squirt bottles of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar, and stoke the fires of my perseverance with her imperturbable, ironclad encouragement.

I kept feeling into my creative soul – how can speaking my truth heal me? I’d jump on the mini-trampoline I borrowed from JR’s mama (rebounding moves lymph) with my sage stick for a microphone, singing crazy soul songs. I wrote.  I painted. I stitched together personal books of pages of my past.  I peered into my soul’s desires, determined to undo three decades of over-obedience and feel again what turns me on. I’m still feeling…

Perhaps the biggest undeniable gift of this illness has been an invitation to open again to the power of plants. From the moment I had energy to walk again, the trees in Tower Grove beckoned.  Arms wide, from bare to blossoms to budding, mature green to falling crimson, this year’s flip book of changing seasons has been a visual mantra, lining my heart with courage: Everything changes. This too shall pass. Present to the beauty of color, leaned up again the giant ginkgo’s belly, drinking deep the cleanest air in the city, grateful.  Slip off shoes, soil!– every cell open to imbibe aliveness. I grieved growing up not really knowing this communion: as a girl, my sacred spot was the sewage ditch — best scenery in town.  At home in the window sill, my aloe vera shushed my weeping sores with gentle, restorative moisture. In the backyard, tearing off kale and collards, luring slugs from the bok choy. Plenty.  Discovering flower essences, sea buckthorn juice, super-food supplements. Ah – mornings sipping on a steaming cup of Edgar Cayce’s recommended eczema cure —Slippery Elm inner bark gruel, a demulcifent that supports health stomach lining.  Most importantly, garlic. Allium sativum. Savior. <Insert triumphant choir harmonic third, Here.>

August was the about-face. Since then I’ve been supported by a daily dose of Allimed liquid, a stabilized form of garlic’s power-enzyme, allicin, which has steadily been healing my MRSA….for which I’m eternally grateful.  Turns out the eczema had been lingering because of the latent infection.  I got a chance to share my truth in an art show at RAC. I got a chance to swim in the wide waters, on family vacation to a cabin on Lake Michigan. Playing with my sisters, walking on the sand, with my skin feeling safe enough to expose to the sun and wind, I felt eternally, perfectly blissful. So whole. So much pleasure, just being in skin.  Since then, it’s been baby steps to total wellness.

For the first time in nine months, my skin feels just about great. I have no boils, no rashes, and a smidge of folliculitis on its way out the door. Sometimes I still wake up in the middle of the night feeling itchy – like my skin isn’t quite used to this clear newness.  I’m excited to maintain and improve on my ever-deepening, gorgeous health – looking into cutting back sugar even further to curb candiadis, and aiming for a balanced pH body chemistry as well.  Yogaglo supports my daily practice at a budget-friendly cost in between Groupons to local studios, and I’m thrilled to be developing curricula merging yoga and animation for a K-3rd afterschool program.

My heart has soared with access to new tools of–Re-evaluation Counseling, also called co-counseling, and Restorative Circles.  And JR is home from the farm!  Beloved companion. We go to co-counseling class with about fifteen people every Wednesday, to study the theoretic premise, swap time, and do demonstrations. At the heart of “co-co” is the belief that through compassionate listening, we can support one another in fully discharging emotions that have built into patterns that block our freedom, and so regain our pristine intelligence and capacity for zest! We accessed Restorative Circles in a workshop at the IMC in Urbana-Champaign facilitated by Dominic Barter, receiving an intro to the history and premise with ample opportunity to practice facilitating semi-simulated circles. From their website: “A Restorative Circle is a community process for supporting those in conflict. It brings together the three parties to a conflict – those who have acted, those directly impacted and the wider community – within an intentional systemic context, to dialogue as equals. Participants invite each other and attend voluntarily. The dialogue process used is shared openly with all participants, and guided by a community member. The process ends when actions have been found that bring mutual benefit.” Learning about this tool gives me hope to move through ‘impasses’ I’ve felt come up in intimate friendships and collaborative circles, when personalities and pain seem to prevent future relationship.  OH! These aren’t walls, just giant steps.

With these tools, and with months of persistence and perspective from the humble healing cocoon, I feel more poised to be truly present to how I can enjoyably and effectively support our planet’s shifting – simple, surrendered, non-judgmental, patient, powerful. I reflect on my past outreach efforts on Cherokee, past hopes in STL, and I notice a need to fix people, to fix situations, or to offer solutions where perhaps they aren’t desired.  I forgive that tendency and move forward. My new commitment to myself is to befriend and collaborate with others who are treating themselves with nuanced nurture and who are committed to transforming personal shadow with awareness. I am drawn to substance-free, simplicity, sustainability. I understand in the laboratory of my own body, the endurance required to evolve and manifest new direction, and the importance of sacred companionship in that effort. In Radical Healing, Ballentine writes “In the same way that the accumulation of physical dross in the body forces us to deal with what’s underneath, what has led to it, so the accumulation of pollution on the planet must bring us to terms with the values and beliefs that underlie our way of life. To change the planetary mentality that has produced our ecological disaster will require seeing within ourselves the microcosmic version of the macrocosmic or planetary consciousness that is causal. . . . . Radical healing will require digging into the innermost parts of yourself to uproot the deepest causes.” When we’ve each begun in earnest this personal, sacred excavation, then our powers combined have the superpower to exponentially shift tired, imbalanced systems.  Outer ease birthed from inner integrity, or: by fully Occupying my inner power and unconditional worth . . . what then naturally changes?

And, how do we create social spaces that support this level of personal inquiry? Out with Celia to see TuneYaRds the other night, I basked in the banshee wizardry of mighty lady looped poetry.  After the show, though, I made a hasty exit – through the stiff cloud of second-hand smoke, a little wary of having been jostled by drunken dudes all night.  She noticed my out-of-place sensitivity ~ “It’s ok. You’re a baby now. You’ve got this tender, new skin. You don’t know what you’ll be yet, again.”  Having mercifully re-established my body as my temple, I’m hesitant to partake in any way of being together that doesn’t support our mutual well-being and catalyze some juicy co-evolution. Anything short of that feels deceptive and short-sighted, when I can sense what we’re fully capable of becoming. And yet I’m so hungry for collaboration, commingling: what does a radiantly healthy art/music scene look like?

What does a radiantly healthy planet look like? I feel so attentive to and thrilled by this present collective turning, like the first time watching a live birth – breath deepening, labor pains, so acute and urgent and compelling. How can I be of service to support this natural process and soothe pain?  The other day a friend stopped by in her ninja-mobile, a svelte black rental car for a traumatic post-crash interim: Despite the stress, “I’m excited to find the blessing in this….”   Last night I received an email from an art heroine of mine who is facing breast cancer: “There is proof that there really are Angels and Bodhisattvas in this/my life and that The Divine Universe is at play, looking out for my highest good, even via those who may have come disguised as ‘enemies’. What blessings abound!”  We are so fragile, so strong.   I feel humbled and grateful to be surrounded by humans who are taking the mystery fully for what its worth, living all the way into the questions, not flinching when the asking proves uncomfortable.

Again from Radical Healing,  “The reconnection that is the essence of healing is a process that reaches deeper and deeper, reshaping your consciousness and redirecting your energy so that your body is brought into greater and greater synchrony with the pulsing of the larger wholes of which you are a part. . . . . . Despite our unfortunate habit of considering our illnesses and disorders obstacles to living, that is not what they are. They are instead, as we have seen, opportunities. The secret fulfillment in your life is dealing with the problems that seem to plague you and prevent your from moving forward. What is ‘in your way’ IS your way.  The key to your personal transformation is the thorn in your side.”

What roadblocks are you turning into way-markers on your path?   I would love to hear, how.  Your courage sparks mine.   Let’s keep bearing with each other, bravely, attentively. Something so lovely is transpiring …

38 Responses to Life as a lava lamp

  1. J.R. says:

    Beloved. Beloved. Beloved. Beloved. You are! An invitation in repetition until conviction that anything other is, Beloved! Thank you for you/r continued engagement in the co-habitation of fire and water. What’s next?

  2. Sarah P says:

    Wowsers! I am at loss for words. What an amazing truthful account of your journey. You have what sounds like an incredible enduring spirit. I already knew that but did not know the extent of your healing process. Thanks for sharing these personal experiences and photos without censoring yourself. Reading this right now, I left my own anxieties, and connected with your thoughts on inner and outer healing on a large and small level. I am going to take the challenge to figure out the thorn in my side. Besos y Abrazos, Sarah

  3. pam beck says:

    it all comes down to the healing of nature and/or the natural, whether its internal or external. its all there if we r willing to be quiet, for awhile, listen then add to or subtract from then share and listen somemore.

  4. MIC∆H says:


  5. Sara Figueroa says:

    Thank you for sharing this healing process. I love you and love how you showed how difficult it is sometimes for humans to allow themselves to heal. Laughter is especially important as a healing tool for that purpose. Just curious, did you also use any Udo’s Oil?

    • lyndsey says:

      Hi sara! I was definitely doing my best to allow…. pry the sticky fingers off, Surrender. I actually spent a lot more time crying and raging than laughing, since my ‘normal’ personally spends much more time in lightness and has spent the past 20 yrs avoiding a lot of the darker aspects of my experience. Kind of like ‘catchup’ in processing various shadows. Co-co was a fun way to invite back and practice the full spectrum — Laughter does makes the divine comedy easier to swallow for sure. And so do Omegas– didn’t encounter Udo’s but swallowed my fair share of flax and hemp oils as well as experimenting with sea buckthorn (so yummy!), borage oil, and evening primrose oil. Thanks for reading and commenting, & merry merry season, wherever you are (>+?) xoxo

  6. Cranky David says:

    “I’m a tiny dot, just suffering and celebrating alongside 7 billion other tiny dots. Huge souls.” <3

    From the atom to the universe. The scale of it all is so huge/small/huge/small full of energy to share. Your account is pure. Thank you!

  7. Helen says:

    Such an amazing journey. Thank you for sharing all…even the not-so-pretty. I am in nursing school (finishing end of Feb.). I am trying to integrate the holistic into my nursing practice believing that healing takes place on so many different levels. JR seems like a wonderfully supportive person. HYou are to be commended on your bravery, your trust & “breaking on thru to the other side”. I wish you continued good health & strength to keep on keepin’ on!

    • lyndsey says:

      So happy to hear that you are integrating wholistic wisdom into your nursing practice, Helen…. that level of nurture and attention is so needed! good luck with your last few months of school, and Thanks so much for your encouragement ;0)

  8. Hilary says:

    Oh, Lyndsey! I had no idea what you’ve been going through. You are such a dear soul and an inspiration. Your warmth and care just radiate; I’m sorry there wasn’t more warmth and care surrounding you during this time. We all owe you some. Thank you for sharing your story, sweet girl.

    • lyndsey says:

      thanks for responding and kind words, Hilary! I was definitely surrounded by goodness…. always a matter of how much can we let in??? learning to open. xoxo love to you these holidays

  9. Ilene Berman says:

    Hi Lyndsey,

    I don’t know if you remember me but we must have met at the Contemporary just before this all started. I had heard you were healing but didn’t know the extent of it. I am so glad to hear you are feeling better. I am living in England right now and have been thinking a lot about the artists here who describe their work as their “practice.” I think this is such an interesting and authentic way of thinking about life as an artist. It doesn’t flow from my mouth yet but it is creeping into my writing and thinking. I thought the idea of a practice would fit you well.

    be well,

    • lyndsey says:

      I well remember the light green felty material you were surrounded by, and a short convo at CAMSTL – last halloween (weave!) …. OOh thanks for sharing: i do love the concept of practice — blending boundaries of art, inquiry, health as we learn how to be as creatively human as possible. joy and peace to your journey, adventuring all the way ‘cross the pond. LOVE

  10. Dana says:

    Sweet blessings on you, your journey, and all of us.

  11. Naa-Dodua Ankrah says:

    don’t even know what to say……….

    between tears of joy & sorrow during & after reading your story. wow, lady-love. you have so much courage! this is purrrfect…..THIS…is perfect.

    thank you so much for sharing your triumphs & tribulations. you have become one of my greatest teachers.

    feeling quite vulnerable as well. not quite knowing what to do after my 8 months of hell. wanting to reconnect to the outside world w/ my more authentic self.

    thanks to you, there’s more encouragement to continue on this path. there has been quite a resistance to journaling and better food choices. those are indeed the next trails to blaze.

    this heart is radiating with love & light for you, lyndsey! xoooxxo :0)

  12. lyndsey says:

    thank you for sharing this. what an amazing woman you are to conquer so much. we too have embraced nature for healing purposes. you would love doterra – gift of the earth. you have a story that is beautiful, just like you. sometimes i enjoy remembering your fun laugh. love from your older sister’s old friend, LD

    • lyndsey says:

      LD!!!!! thanks for reaching out! thrill to memory lane your face and glimpse into your present — doterra sounds like a gift indeed. so far have only barely peeked into the power of essential oils, what sweet elixir! plants do give us, i’m so glad we are finding out. peace and love to you and yours this season xoxoo (say hi to your fam for me!)

  13. elizabeth says:

    you are now pure light.
    gentle hugs and kisses coming your way.

  14. Ben West says:

    Lyndsey, the story of your long voyage from eczema to personal/ physiological/ spiritual wellness is amazing!

    This was personally inspiring for me, as I am gradually standing up from the one-two sucker punch / belly laugh that impending fatherhood just threw at me.

    I hope we meet again before your journeys resume.

    • lyndsey says:

      Mr. West,,,,,,,,,,,, i personally am excited to watch you brave and thrive in this ‘suckerpunch/belly-laugh’. You are so capable and so much to offer a new being!!! what an intelligent tinkery kid yous are gonna create… my heart leapt at seeing carissa’s big beautiful bump. So good to see you sunday, i’m gon savor my homemade salsa!!! LOVES

  15. Xtine says:

    Your article gave me chills, from the moment I saw your fierce warrior eyes.
    In 2007 I suffered from the most crippling depression to date.. the symptoms in reverse from yours: I first plunged into a spiralling panic attack that led to months of intense depression and anxiety. Where my mind went my body followed. I couldn’t eat, lost a lot of weight and energy. Headaches and body aches plagued me, and I became obsessed with the idea that SOMETHING must be the cause. Unfortunately, it was easier to blame my body than my mind (my thoughts, beliefs, environment in which I planted myself) and so I sought to convince myself, my family, friends, and doctors that I had a brain tumor, a stroke, a heart condition, breathing problems, cancer, and yes, even a deviated septum. Finally I went to see a therapist, who, through months of twice a week talk sessions pulled out the sludge, filth, and messes that had been occupying my mind and life for so many of my years. I also, admittedly, got on medication after months of everyday tears, and it helped. Had I not faced my dark passenger, however, I would have only been postponing wrestling with an angrier and stronger beast.
    So thankful that you shared your process, Lyndsey. I’ve come to appreciate life’s reminders to STOP. REFLECT. and breathe.

    • lyndsey says:

      Ah. Lady……. Thanks for responding, sharing — i felt so much companionship and understanding in your words. And love for your bravery, willingness to go there, be with that, open….. tough shit! hot dang! we are powerful women! we’ve always known that somewhere — i remember heart to hearts in bolomomo past….. it just had to get liberated from the tangle. Daily, free-ing. sending much love to you and hopes you have great continued support to see and be with your fierce warrior eyes-heart-mind-spirit as they continue the trajectory toward total presence…. whole, free, perfect in this moment. loves loves loves

  16. Jean Durel says:

    On a whim, I clicked on Hollerlujah’s Facebook invitation to see who were the other 3674 persons besides me who have not yet responded. Scrolled down through a few names and saw yours along with the phrase, “Evolving joyfully at” Clicked on your site and saw what a tough journey you’ve had these last nine months. Lots of birthing going on — including a new,intact skin on a healthy body. What strength and healing wisdom you have. Jean

  17. Shannon Knox says:

    Hey girl –
    What a story. I saw that you had put it up and was waiting for a moment to read it. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the phage virus, which is a natural MRSA and staph-eating virus, which you can take in several forms. If it comes back, please get ahold of me, I know a doctor who was one of the head researchers in phage as a cure, though it is only approved as a “detector,” I have seen it cure several people’s infections extremely rapidly.

    Anyway, I’m so inspired by your struggle and your honesty. You’re such a non-stop ass-kicker. You can do anything, and I’m so glad to see that your wild mind has met it’s match. JR, hell yeah! Hold ‘er down! ;) XOXO Shannon

    • lyndsey says:

      PHAGE — gon read up, thanks for the tip! And loving shout-out.
      speaking of nonstop asskickin, came across a stack of prints on Jason D’s desk that you swapped him — holy moly, lady, your arts lookkin fiiiine!
      would love to see you when/if you breeze through…i may do my own breezin soon – out NC way — hasta cuando our paths do cross. L O V E

  18. Catherine says:

    Hi Lyndsey,

    Been missing you so much at the Eiler household. Much peace and light to you… I have only been able to read about a quarter of your beautiful chronicle so far and now Claire and the Smurf Movie are shouting loud.

    Eager to write more as I read about your courageous and inspiring journey.

    BUT I want to report that my Atnas-ing is in full-force this season and I am clearing and cleaning right and left.


    • lyndsey says:

      Atnas is doin her crazy dance. you get it’ grrrrrl, clean that sh*t out!!! facetime would be great — i’ll get at you through facebooook xoxoxo

  19. Catherine says:

    So I have had a chance to read from beginning to end… and it probably won’t be the last time. I turn 50-yrs-old in one year and one month and am acutely aware of time passing and my desire for change. Would so love to spend time, wondering if we might… ? AND the Eiler household is eager to support and gift you in any way we can. Don’t hesitate.

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  21. jill d says:

    om shanti, my deep friend, oh shanti. what lies within in you speaks loudly yet softly too. you are light, you are perfect. you are my soul sister. xo

  22. Rachel says:

    hey, I made this story! Famous. Oh, I’m so glad you’re alive and well in this world! I remember so vividly our encounters, but touching to now read “behind the scenes.” At the time, I sensed your deep pain and some story that was beneath it, AND I sensed your shift towards self-compassion after several visits; I remember sharing with my dad what you had taught me that day (it’s a 2-way street, you see). In many ways, I felt a sense of failure in my inability to fix it, heal it, alleviate your suffering (that’s my job!) I so wish I could have spared you! But I also inherently believe that everything belongs, that your journey served a necessary purpose, that pain often bears the greatest gifts (self-revelation; ahem, our connection). It helps us see the unearthing, the unfolding, and the evolving of what lies deep within…(Couldn’t there be an easier way?!) I also forever believe in the body’s capacity to heal – with time, insight, nurturing, allowing; you are a true testiment to that. I am so grateful for your healing, and the epic story it tells all of us about the tenacity of spirit and the body’s innate process. And I’m grateful for your stinkin’ crazy epidermis, for which I wouldn’t otherwise know a Lyndsey Scott. You bless me. You/r skin….ahhhh, perfect beauty. I love you darlin’ girl.

  23. Heather says:

    I am 25 and Im leaving in two days to go have reconstructive surgery and stay with my mom. Recently, I have been struggling with listening to myself and totally ignoring urges to go deeper within to heal because it seems useless. Since my last surgery Ive had cysts and horrific body acne and infections and I keep thinking I should do some kind of cleanse but then I just dont and eat frozen shrimp from cvs. I hope that everything will get better by not changing myself drastically but everything keeps getting worse and I keep ignoring negative changes by watching hours and hours of tv. I used to write poetry but I havent read anything but facebook in three years. There are so many things changing around me right now that its like I woke up with a new life last weekend but kept the same lazy, hopeless, mind. I found this webpage because its 5am and I searched “fucked up lava lamp” on google images to see if other peoples weird lava lamps look like mine when its first heating up. . . I dont even understand fully what this website is yet. Maybe somehow hoping everything will fix itself (and becoming a shell of yourself) without acting on it can lead to more extraordinary changes than when youre looking for the right answers in the right places. I dont know what led me here but Im reading every word you wrote and Im bookmarking the page so I can check out the books.

    • lyndsey says:

      Heather! I love your honesty and your google search phrase. Check your inbox – personal message awaits. Love to your journey — L

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About me
Educated as a painter, learning as a yogi, and playful as a baby monkey: I am a willing human being __ emphasis on the Be. I am traveling-learning, designing projects to feed my inquiries while attracting adventures and connecting with tribes that grace my journey with experiential wisdom in creative healing and joyful sustainability. My passions are catalyzing radically simple + beautiful + fun intentional community, sparking spontaneous collaborative singing and dancing, acroyoga, permaculture, and loving children.