The Girls – Part 2: The Story of Lily

Lily, September 2014

Lily, September 2014

(If you haven’t read  Part 1  yet, read about Deirdre by clicking here.)

Lily came to us at the end of last summer. My friend Lauri texted to let me know that my neighbors (about four houses down from my house) had a fawn captured in their dog run and said they would like me to come and get it. She gave me their phone number and I called to see what was going on. It seems this fawn had been wandering for days around their home and wandering into the road. They were worried it was going to get hit by a car. I went to get the fawn, and it was pretty close to being on its last legs – the fact that it was so easy to catch was an indication that it was in a weakened state. I could tell that this baby had not had its mother for some time. The logical conclusion was that the mother had been hit by a car on the Thruway, which runs right behind the neighbor’s house. [Read more…]

The Girls – Part 1: The Story of Deirdre

Deirdre, 1-2 days old

Deirdre, 1-2 days old

Several years ago, I traveled to Boston in August by train to attend a week-long intensive that resulted in certification in Shamanic Counseling. It was a fascinating and sometimes grueling 5 days of shamanic journeying and self-evaluation.

For those who aren’t familiar with what a shaman is or does, let me explain briefly. Shamanism is the most ancient spiritual practice known to humankind, dating back at least 40,000 years. The word “shaman” comes from the Tungus tribe in Siberia and it means spiritual healer or one who sees in the dark. It is now used as a general term for a spiritual healer that works with the spirit world in a particular way. A shaman is a man or woman who uses his or her ability to “see” what is normally hidden in order to gain guidance from the spirit realms (an ability that the Celts call the “Second Sight”).  Shamanism has been practiced in Siberia, Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, Greenland, and native North and South America, and is enjoying a resurgence in the Western world today. [Read more…]

TBI Part II: How Shamanism Helped My Brain Heal

black pegasusAfter my horse Dare clocked my noggin, as I mentioned in Part I of this blog (which you can read here if you like), I suffered post-concussive syndrome. Post-concussive syndrome is a collective term for the after-effects of mild traumatic brain injury. As a shamanic practitioner and a scientist, I was intrigued by the recovery process that I was experiencing. I took note of the things that were different about me and the slow progress toward recovering my normal brain function again.

One of the effects I was left with was blurry vision. I had halos around every letter, and it didn’t matter if it was a road sign or a textbook. I saw an optometrist and she said my eyes were fine, but that my brain was telling my eyes to do two different things. [Read more…]

How Traumatic Brain Injury Changed My Life

Brain lobesOn June 2, 2012, I sustained a concussion. Some of you who follow my blog already know this. I must admit that at the time, like most people, I had no idea how serious a concussion can be. Over the next few months, I learned first-hand that a concussion is a brain injury that “may take 3 to 6 months to heal.” (Picture me doing the air quotes, and you’ll see why below.) Another name for a concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury.

It’s referred to as “mild” only because your head isn’t split wide open and you aren’t laying unconscious in the ICU. [Read more…]