Posts Tagged ‘Grandparents’

Lyme Book, Gardening and Other Updates

First, a Writing Update

I haven’t given a progress update in awhile, so I thought I’d share some recent developments with my Lyme books. Yes, that’s books, plural!

The Metaphysics of Lyme Disease has over 102,000 words and counting, written primarily by me, but also including wisdom, examples and inspiration from many Lyme savvy colleagues and survivors. I’m so grateful for their contributions, and I cannot believe how much I have grown along with the book. When I couldn’t find an astrologer to write the most important patterns I see again and again in the charts of Lyme clients, I formalized 12 years of armchair astrology, under the perfect-for-me mentorship of my dear friend Ann Kreilkamp.

Now I find another need to branch out, as I would love to offer one, primary, hands-on resource for guided journaling, self-assessment, and timeline shifts related to Lyme disease. I currently have about 30 additional books people would need to read and then discern which aspects and how to tweak them for healing Lyme. If I add all those exercises and questions into The Metaphysics of Lyme Disease, then the flow stops and starts, switching gears and losing the important sense of a larger, interconnected picture. Plus, it would become an even longer book and require major editing to create a cohesive text with all the contributors, my explanations and much more hands-on guidance. I originally wanted to release my Lyme book by the end of 2018, but the project has grown — and deepened — so much that trying to rush for an arbitrary deadline feels wrong.

But I do feel led to release a Lyme book this year!

Last Friday, inspiration struck. Continue reading

Medical Intuitive Thoughts on Teeth

I’m actually writing this article as part of a brainstorming session for myself; however, I hear from so many clients who are enduring unintended side effects from infected root canals, rejected implants, tooth abscesses and frequent cavities. It seems teeth are a big issue these days, and in addition to Lyme Disease, traumatic brain injury (TBI), digestive issues and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, teeth are up there in Medical Intuitive Session topics. I have personally been flirting with a probably “necessary” root canal off and on for far too long now, so before I give up the tooth, I thought I’d, you know, use my intuitive gifts to help myself. 😉 But since teeth issues are so common, why not share the information? Maybe this way, I’ll actually finish the brainstorming session instead of doing other things.

When assessing metaphysical causes for any physical ailment, it usually pays to look at any obvious metaphors or cliches. If a metaphysical cause reaches the body in the form of pain, it means we’ve missed or ignored the subtle signs and decision points preceding this situation. Odds are, the body’s not playing coy. Oftentimes the most obvious messages are the “right” message, or at least set us on the right track of that message. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to share things even if they don’t seem to apply to me. This is a brainstorming session, and what’s off for me might be right on for someone else.

The earliest tooth metaphor I remember hearing was from my Grandma Van, the woman who cheerfully asserted, “A meal’s just not a meal without dessert.” Grandma Van joyfully lived to age 101, and one could argue that she only decided to give up the ghost when the nursing home insisted she drink some disgusting protein shakes. Until she stopped being able to eat her sweets — even with only one remaining tooth — Grandma Van was still enjoying romance novels and bridge games. Grandma Van knew what she liked and refused what she didn’t. Her primary way of letting you know she didn’t like something was to mumble under her breath, “I’d rather have a root canal.”

Another early tooth metaphor came from my dad, describing my own stubborn nature, saying, “It’s like pulling teeth,” usually in reference to getting me to read the dreaded “Classics.” I preferred Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, or even the Boxcar Children. Mysteries! Or “Clan of the Cave Bear” and “A Woman of Substance,” epic tales of strong women. Although I eventually became an English Major who devoured Classical Literature, as a child I knew what I liked, and I read it. And only those things. I read so much that my sister joked that my middle name of Paige was really “page” as in “book,” complete with a little bookworm finger gesture. I met one of our neighbors later in life and he said, “Oh, right! You were that girl who was always sitting on the front lawn reading.” I was a voracious reader as a child, but no one could entice me to read anything I didn’t want to know.

Both tooth metaphors appear to deal with preferences — the joy of embracing these, the pain of ignoring them in favor of “reason,” “education,” “practicality,” or “societal custom.” My grandmother and I shared a strong ability to “grin and bear it” when things did not go our way, but the pain cut(s) deep. The ability to “grit your teeth and git ‘er done” is also something I shared with Grandma Van, to the point that I have occasionally cracked a tooth from night grinding before certain likely to be stressful encounters. At Grandma Van’s funeral, more than one person commented on the strong set of her jaw. We usually saw her smiling, but at rest, her jaw was clamped shut and downright formidable. People credited her stubborn streak with ensuring her long life and continued zest for it despite years of not being able to talk or walk after multiple strokes and arthritis.

If you consult Louise Hay’s book, “Heal Your Body,” you’ll find that teeth represent “decisions” or “longstanding indecisiveness. Inability to break down ideas for analysis and decisions.” A root canal means: “Can’t bite into anything anymore. Root beliefs being destroyed.” Abscess: “fermenting thoughts over hurts, slights and revenge.” I’ve had clients for whom teeth represented “vulnerability,” “structures” and “personal power.” It’s also worth noting that meridians run through each tooth, so the specific tooth in question relates to whatever issues connect to that meridian. You can find a cool dental meridian chart by clicking here. Hovering over each tooth pops up a chart with related organs and positive/balanced vs. negative emotions associated with that specific tooth.

Given everything happening in our world today — the failing of most major societal, political, financial and ecological structures; an increasing sense of vulnerability to a Fascist Police State; bizarre weather patterns and End Times prophecies; and psychopathic corporations hellbent on telling us we want things that most awake people really, really do not want — it’s no wonder I’m hearing from so many people with dental issues. To varying degrees, we seem to have seen through the mirage of all the old structures, yet we’re not fully embodying and inhabiting the New.

Add to that the fact that many Lightworkers, Healers and Wayshowers feel like they’re pouring themselves into the New in order to support the rest of society that’s only just now flickering their eyelids to a groggy awareness of something maybe not quite as “real” as they thought it was. Still largely asleep, most of society continues to convince itself that the Real is a dream while the Matrix is waking “reality.” Depletion and demineralization often appear when we have been giving, giving, giving unsustainably more than we’re receiving. Many tooth, bone and chronic fatigue issues reflect this imbalance. In today’s times of intense change, it can seem like we have exponentially more things to do and less time for personal nourishment. Yet change does begin within. If we do not adequately nourish ourselves (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually) how will we have the energy and stamina to continue supporting others?

Whether people call me for dental issues or hormonal issues, a common theme has begun emerging in recent Medical Intuitive sessions, and that’s the need to be truly honest with ourselves regarding our so-called preferences. Many people, myself included, want so much to see positive changes in this world that we sometimes overstretch our own limits and preferences. We “bite off more than we can chew” — grit our teeth to git ‘er done — even when those responsibilities rightly lie in other peoples’ hands. Something like what Dr. Bruce Lipton calls “the biological imperative” seems to be kicking in for many of us. Even formerly laid back or “live and let live” folks find it more difficult to stay silent and inactive. On the one hand, that’s great! We have increasing numbers of people envisioning and enacting steps towards a positive timeline and world.

On the other hand, we need to make some decisions, and we don’t always feel like we have enough time to gather all the information and skills we need for making such life altering choices. As a society, we’ve allowed old hurts to fester in the form of prejudices, and religious/political/class divisions; we’ve ignored aggressive infections in our banking and political systems, either deadening ourselves to the pain or hoping something else will fix the problem without our interference. Except now, we’re feeling the abscess twinges. We’re recognizing that some so-called leaders “have more nerve than an infected tooth.” Some of us would rather have a root canal than get involved, while others are realizing the vulnerabilities of “toothless” legal systems and protections. It seems mostly vampires have powerful teeth right now.

In her co-authored book, “Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re In Without Going Crazy,” Joanna Macy calls our period “The Great Turning.” As a Buddhist, she emphasizes non-attachment: we don’t know the ultimate outcome of our efforts. But she also recognizes the necessity of hope as both motivator in the face of overwhelming challenges and a means of countering fear and despair. Just as meridians run through each tooth, each individual intimately connects with the entire Universe. As humans, we are, quite literally, bridges between heaven and Earth. The Spirit world needs physical beings through which to act. The Earth needs inhabitants living from our hearts and inspired action. The more we each tune in to our own preferences — our deepest soul longings — the more we find ourselves either biting into life or suffering effects from trying to grit through something we really do not want.

Some way, somehow, decisions need to be made. When pain continues to flare up, will we find ways to bring our preferred reality into being? Will we have the courage to follow our dream? To live our truth? To come out of whatever closet — sexual, broom, religious or otherwise? In an interconnected world, even personal, microcosmic decisions affect the macrocosm. Just as a tiny tooth nerve can drive you to the point of near insanity, so can tiny actions from seemingly small decisions demand grand attention. Never underestimate the power of little things.

Yes! Of everything I’ve just shared, that last line jumps out at me: “never underestimate the power of little things.” Like canaries in the coal mine, teeth are small but mightily telling. These tiny parts of our body can provide some of the sharpest defense when all else fails to protect us. Teeth answer the call of the wild. They rip apart pretty looking portions and make them bio-available. Teeth don’t care what our food looks like. They care about what nutrients that food provides. Will it add to (mineralize) us or ultimately deplete (demineralize through sugary, empty fluff)? Teeth have roots, and sometimes local pain results in changes that haven’t come about any other way. Little decisions, little actions, just like chewing food, eventually break things down into bite-sized pieces. The trick is not to shove everything in at once, but rather to chew and to choose. Choose wisely now. Decisions count more than ever now. And now. And now. Pay attention to, evaluate and honor longings and nourishment — whatever those things mean to you, right now.

Blessed Be!

Grandma Van’s 100th Birthday Party

I promised some photos from our January trip to my hometown of Bethlehem, PA, where my Grandma Vantries (“Van”) turned 100 years old. She’s quite a sharp lady! Despite multiple strokes, she still plays bridge with a long term bridge group, reads multiple romance novels each week, writes letters, collects lots and lots of things, intuitively knows if you’ve understood her or not, and continues to be loved and adored by all animals, including the lovebirds outside her room. When I was a child, I remember that bluejays would land on her hand in her backyard. She used to keep parakeets and canaries until she moved into her higher care facility, but the staff put the community birdcage right outside her room. Her roommate’s cat also loves to keep her company.

David took this photo during a quick visit to Grandma’s room where I gave her a framed copy of the party invitation I designed for the 72 guests who attended the next day’s celebration.

Roundhouse Cakes Birdcage Cake

My cousin Keith’s wife, Susannah, owns a cake making company, called Roundhouse Cakes, and she provided this three tiered cake, complete with a locally acquired wooden stump. David and I only admired the outside of the cake, since the ingredients were way out of our usual fare, but everyone raved about the taste and design. Don’t feel too sorry for us! We brought strawberry cashew cheesecake slices that we picked up along our way there from Karyn’s Raw in Chicago.

I haven’t received the official photographer’s photos yet. These were all taken by David, which explains why he’s not in any of them. 😉

Happy 100th Birthday, Grandma!

Helping My Nephew Write Out His Card

My Mom and Me, Nametags and All

Hamming it up with my brother, Craig

My Sister Erica, Me, Brother Craig and my Nephews

The photographer brought some props, which were a big hit with this particular segment of the extended Derbenwick clan. My nephew Owen turned out to be quite the rockstar. Thanks to David for capturing a whole series of album cover worthy pics!

Our whirlwind visit included a surprisingly thorough amount of visiting with family, including my dad and cousin Erin, both of whom continue to request prayers for their cancer recoveries. Lots of hugs and love were shared, and David and I took my mom out to a favorite local teashop at Donegal Square.

Tea at Donegal Square

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that my other grandmother, my mom’s mom also reached a milestone birthday in January 2012. She turned 90! My mom and sister flew out to Orange County to celebrate the week after David and I returned from our adventure east. I promised to visit later this year as two long trips to opposite coasts in the same month would have been overload with the other things on our plates right now. We did find this great photo from many decades ago, showing both Gramma Irene (strawberry blond hair) and Grandma Van, along with from left to right, me, Craig and Erica. Blast from the past! Happy 90th and Happy 100th, Grandmothers!


The following essay comes via a friend of mine named Esther Weiss. She wrote it for a writing assignment with a simple prompt: 14%. When she read her essay to me over the phone, something about it just tickled me. I love her wry humor and the fact that she went all over town asking people what 14% meant to them. She said I could share her piece for others to enjoy on my blog.



By Esther Weiss 

Not having an immediate reaction to what 14% was, I began to do research and discovered that 14% of Californians are Hmong.

14% of my cousin Jimmy’s advertising business is car dealers.

At the “Y,” I was told that 14% of people who work out do not do strength training.

At a well-known pizza place in Chicago, a kitchen worker there said that 14% of his job involves fixing mistakes made by others.

A podiatrist asserts that 14% of people who have metatarsal surgery below their big toe and second toe will have further problems with the rest of their metatarsals. He went on to say that he just loves statistics – and has noted that 14% of his patients are on Medicare and another 14% live along the lake in the northern suburbs.

A smallish subset – say 14% of those people who use the Evanston Public Library are lower income people with few or no computer skills who need help applying for jobs online, typing resumes and cover letters, applying for student aid, grants, circuit breakers, stimulus grants and so forth.

Another 14% who use he EPL are home school families who check out lots of books, look for testbooks, reviews of curricula and who use the library as a meeting space, and as edu-tainment during the school day participating in story hours, family book discussions and more.

When I taught, of 28 children to a kindergarten class, roughly 14% were very knowledgeable about dinosaurs. They were my “resident paleontologists” – and entered kindergarten with a sense of what learning was. There was another 14% who were very good and never got into trouble. Another 14% cried at the beginning of school and took more than a few days for the tears to diminish.

Thankfully only 14% of my time as a teacher was spent in building or district meetings as these were rarely informative, helpful or enlightening.

In my co-op building, 14% of the owners in my building are single men. 14% do not have parking places inside the garage and another 14% are almost 80 or are already there!

Now that I teach seniors, I think that only 14% of class participants have an idea what the exercises are for, they have pretty limited understanding of the mechanics of their bodies and pains. I think another 14% are eager to understand.

I am able to do things independently 86% of the time, but the 14% when I don’t just get out there and do what I want, whether or not I have a buddy sometimes gets painted in day glow colors, and I forget which part is bigger.

There is, unfortunately, only 14% of the time that I like what I write!

I only understand one of my grandsons 14% of the time – but I love talking with him all the time. 14% of the time I question my son-in-law’s decisions, but I love them all the time. 14% of the time, my ex-husband asks me how I am – but that is such an improvement from 3% that I’m 100% delighted. Sometimes I only hear 14% of what’s being said – but I watch the lips moving and nod happily all of the time.

Only 14% of the time do people have a sense of how old I am – or how much of my body doesn’t really work well. That’s great! I forget things 14% of the time and that’s scary – but my friends say that they’re in the same boat so I guess I don’t paddle alone.

And what else about me? 14% of my life was under 10 years of age and I’m sure that by 14% of that time, someone tried to potty train me. 14% of high school was looking around at other people wondering what it would be like to be someone else. 14% of college was trying to be like someone else. Now that being someone else has failed to happen, I try to devote 14% of each day to me – to my exercise including a yoga practice at home, reading, writing, reflecting and listening to something. I have another 14% of my evening activities which include a yoga movement of gratitude and writing about my gratitudes.

When I was 14 I didn’t like myself very much. But now I like me and I know me and I can give that 14-year-old lots of love and let her know that it’s OK!