NC Memorial

Buffeted

I noticed a theme in some of my posts and wanted to note them.

9/18/2017 - "the idea of passing through the world and encountering these things, bumping into them like geometric shapes on a mathematical plane - that's how life can feel to me oftentimes. Even if the people and things are not physically touching me, I still feel jostled, pushed, and squashed by them in a very real way. In that way, my anxiety isn't just a made up feeling - it's a tangible experience from the sessuru of actual things in my life. Not so much from fearing possibilities, but from the actual encounters that they have with me, when their borders brush up against mine. I'm glad to have a word that expresses that experience, even if it is a word in another language."


2/10/2016 - "just trying to keep the world from smashing, crashing in

That's what it feels like. It's like the world is a constant pressure, often overwhelming with unpleasantness (noise, random ugly things, stress, pain, etc). I just want to bury my head in the sand and make it all go away. So I do a 180 and paint other pictures. Amass other things. Craft my own beautiful little space, even if it's only in my mind.


3/23/2015 - "Of all the Star Trek characters I've met so far, the one to whom I feel that I can relate most is Miranda Jones. She was born a telepath and is buffeted by the thoughts and emotions of others. She is also jealous and jealousy loyal.

I'm by no means a telepath, but when I'm in the presence of others, I can feel like I'm being surrounded by their emotions. It's as if they all leap upon me and wash through me and crush against me. Whoever I am is so dim that it's hardly even audible anymore. Sometimes I feel like my mind is trying to run away, trying to relocate itself; but it has nowhere to go to escape the onslaught, so it starts to spin in a panic within itself. Usually, it just gives up and endures the foreign atmosphere until it has the space to seek itself again. On the outside, I wonder what's wrong. Nothing is happening to me. Maybe no one is even speaking to me or engaging my presence. But the space is not my own and I've been overrun by the presences of others. It happens so naturally that I can hardly recognize it."
perfect

My experience of sensory sensitivity

From what I understand, those with Aspergers often experience atypical sensory sensitivity. Their sensory experience may be heightened (hypersensitive) or lessened (hyposensitivity) compared to others. Hypersensitivity means that sensory input feels more than what it really is. Noises sound louder, touches have more impact. Hyposensitivity means that they don't feel as much from the same input. Sometimes, they may engage in dangerous behaviors in order to feel something.

In my case, I experience hypersensitivity. Noises are LOUD and tactile feelings are BIG. When one's physical body is receiving input constantly and at such a strong level, it can quickly become uncomfortable and then overwhelming. The body may go into a state of warning. Sensory information has exceeded perceived safe levels. The body thinks it's in danger and decides to either escape the threat or overcome it.

The tricky thing is, while I may be experiencing this, others may be talking, interacting, and working as normal. Their bodies may think that things are comfortable and safe, while mine is entering a panic-state. I want to behave like a responsible adult, and I know there isn't really any danger, so I try to deny my body's input. I push down its feelings and warnings. But this usually doesn't last long. My body *knows* its in danger and if I won't run or fight, it will do that for me to help me. It short-circuits my attempts to maintain balance and pulls me into overwhelm, where basically my system says - YOU ARE OVERWHELMED! DISENGAGE! At this point, my emotions get pulled in and I feel INTENSE anger and fear. I feel like I'm being buried alive in my own body. And it feels so miserable that I have to stop talking, stop making eye contact, and leave the situation (or disengage if I feel like I can't physically leave). It may take hours of quiet time and space for my body to recover from its panic, cool its intensity, and feel safe and content again.

This experience is emotionally difficult and sometimes is actually physically painful. For example, if I'm in a warm, loud room long enough, my ear feels like someone is stabbing it. My skin also reacts at times, breaking out in rash, itching, or some other uncomfortable sensation. Usually, though, the feelings are low-level and more like an undercurrent. That can make it hard to recognize them until they reach an intense level, especially because I spend so much unconscious time pushing the feelings down, out of the way. It's as if I'm telling my body, "Hey, you're distracting me. I'm fine. Leave me alone." But my body is only trying to warn me :( When I ignore its warnings, I usually regret it.

Over the past few years, I've been trying to better recognize my body's sensations and reactions. If I can pay attention to how I feel in a situation, I can better predict how it's going to react and better adjust to it. I don't want to be a slave of my body, but I do want to treat it with respect. I can do that by paying attention to how it feels, acknowledging those signals, and then deciding how to respond. I'm still learning, but the awareness has been an important step in the journey.
jehoshabeath (old Hebrew)

My color associations in dreams

Recently, I reviewed my dream notes from this past year. I referenced specific colors quite often. These were the emotions or situations that accompanied the different colors:

Black - murder, evil, blood
Grey - trapped, powerless
White - concern, potential, ways to safety
Brown - resistance, animals, courage
Purple - ability
Blue - hiding, embarrassment
Green - disappointment, kitchens, security
Yellow - violation
Orange - sacrifice, exchange, troubled
Orangish-pink - physical-emotional recovery, healing
Pink - delightful
Cream - sorrowful
Red - intensity, fighting, disaster
Union County, middle school mural

Aromatherapy Course Progress

It's been 3 months since I started my Aromatherapy program and today I finished module 3. I'm a quarter of the way through the course material for AT 101! So far, we've covered the basics of what are essential oils and aromatherapy, history, processing methods, safety, and a few essential oil profiles.

I've assembled a binder with the review questions to make it easier to find and study them. There are about 50 questions in the review section for each module. I'm also keeping a notebook to store aggregated notes - a list of the oils and their primary chemical constituents and a list of the therapeutic actions of each of the main constituents. I'm also keeping track of some usage notes from my essential oil applications. Here's a sample of the chemical constituents notes:

AT101-sample-notes1.jpg

Next week, I'm planning to attend an orientation for modules 4-5. We're going to study chemistry, botany, and begin preparations for conducting case studies. I still feel like a beginner, but I'm starting to grow familiar with the terminology and have begun watching the monthly webinar lectures. I've also been tinkering in Lab Aroma. I entered a few of the themed-blends that I've made and am exploring their components and chemical details :)

The course has been challenging so far, but also exciting. It feels great to be able to apply myself to this area of study. I love exploring different essential oils, plants, and applications. I hope that someday I'll be able to make aromatherapy blends to help others, too. One step at a time, but it's coming along!
Aurora

Peaceful Music

I can imagine laying on the grass, watching dusk fall. The first stars come to peek past wispy clouds. The breath of the breeze catching the hickory leaves. An ant crawling over clover. Rabbit coming out to survey for safety. Groundhog making his evening rounds. Skunks rustling from their sleep. And my eyes close and the day fades into a dream.

Horseback, Fly, Ride

Least Weasel Crossing the Road



I think I saw a Least Weasel this morning!

As I was driving to work, a small critter bolted across the road in front of me. It was about the size of a chipmunk, but slender and without stripes. It had a furry, stubby tail. It looked just like the one that this YouTuber captured in his video. I don't think it was a mouse, because the tail was short and furry. It wasn't a squirrel, because its body was smaller and chestnut brown colored. I think it was a weasel :) He made it safely to the other side of the road - he ran at full speed, not stopping or pausing. I wonder what scent he had caught and what he was chasing?

Praise the Lord, for giving me the chance to see one of His small, mysterious creatures :)
Psalm 22

you are no longer a slave

"But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." -Galatians 4:4-7

This passage came to mind this morning as I was getting ready for the day and watching the full moon set over the frosty grass.

Last week, I'd been contemplating some of my deep thoughts and feelings. I'm realizing that unconsciously, I feel that I'm not allowed to have desires of my own. I feel that I'm not allowed to have my own will or take action of my own volition. Part of this is a fear of doing things that will hurt others. Part of it is that I feel like having my own will is selfish. If I just didn't have wants and didn't take action, I wouldn't hurt anyone and I'll be selfless - right? That's how it has felt deep inside. I think this is why Buddhist teachings on non-attachment captured my attention in college. And I think this is why I've been so afraid of growing up. If I grow up, then I *have* to take responsibility for myself. I have to take action. I'll have to make decisions. What do I even want? I can't seem to figure it out. That's all too scary, too hard. I'll just reject that possibility and be a harmless child. But is this how God wants me to feel?

According to the Bible, God created men and women in His image ("So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." Genesis 1:27). He created us with the capacity for thought, feelings, and directed action. He wants me to develop these by training my mind, my emotions, and my actions. But what happens if I only take responsibility for some of these? What happens if I reject the fact that I have a will and instead live as though I were a slave? I think that's how my soul has been living in some ways.

Over the years, I've had recurring dreams of being taken prisoner. I felt a lot of fear (even adrenaline-rich panic) but I also had this twisted sense of safety. Because as a prisoner, the captors made the choices and I just did as I was told. I'm very comfortable following orders. There was always a sense in which these dreams were comfortable but alarming - somehow not how it was supposed to be. I've had dreams of injury in a similar fashion. If I'm injured, I can't exert my will - problem solved! I'll just follow along as circumstances dictate. But as I've been journaling and feeling the feelings associated with these things, I'm beginning to see it differently. It really doesn't feel very good :( It feels like cowering, squeezing my eyes shut as tight as possible, covering my ears, waiting for the punishment to come. But I'm starting to peek open my eyes, uncover my ears, and I feel like the woman in John 8 - "Woman, where are those accusers of yours?" *blinks* I always thought my enemies were circumstances, mean people - all these things on the outside. But really, I think my hardest enemies have been on the inside. Those internal judges and executioners. I was the one holding myself in a state of imprisonment in accusation and fear and lies. But Jesus is opening the way to step out of that and to stand as a free, redeemed adult.

(And instantly I feel like judging myself for being so foolish for so long, but I have to remind myself that God's timing is perfect. I'm growing - slow or fast isn't important. I am facing the fear and stepping through it by God's grace and that's what's important.)

(And then I feel intimidated by others, who have lived in full acceptance of their wills since childhood and seem to be so much stronger and wiser than me. Yes, maybe this is why I fear children so much - because they are happily will-full while I've been repressive. But I don't have to feel guilty about that either. We all make mistakes and we all have our lessons. And sometimes we learn when making mistakes and seemingly making a fool of ourselves. I mean, look at Coyote - of all the animal stories, he probably makes the most mistakes, but he also has one of the most beautiful songs of laughter of the animals. And he really is a very intelligent creature. So I'll move through this and even write about it so others can see. God shows His strength in the weak things and His wisdom in the foolish. He is greater than all and He loves His creation and is working to restore it <3 I Corinthians 1:25-27)

So what is a healthy Christian perspective toward the will? From what I can understand, God does want me to embrace my will - not to do evil, but to submit it to Him to do good (Galatians 5:13). Rather than live in denial of my volition, I think it would be better for me to acknowledge this self and to take responsibility for it. I think this is the self-control that the Holy Spirit is working to help me develop (Galatians 5:23). Not control in the sense of holding myself hostage in fear, but self-control in acknowledging that God gave me the capacity for thought, feeling, and action, and to bring all of these before Him. That originally, these were all created good, but since Adam and Eve sinned, these are all tainted by sin. And God sent His Son Jesus to redeem me as a whole person. To purify me and make me stand in His righteousness. To restore my thoughts, feelings, and my will. (What a thought that is.) May God help me to trust Him, to have courage to stand in my own body and mind and spirit, and to live by the power of His Spirit in righteousness all the days of my life. This is my prayer. <3

"Blessed is the Lord God of Israel,
For He has visited and redeemed His people,
...To grant us that we,
Being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
Might serve Him without fear,
In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life." -Luke 1:68-75
jehoshabeath (old Hebrew)

Bible Study Notes: Genesis 10-25

Today we finished studying the account of Abraham in Genesis. I spent some time this afternoon drawing out some notes to help me understand the relationships between Abraham and his brother's family. I thought I'd post them, in case anyone else might find them interesting. The map is not to scale and the shapes of the lands/waters are not accurate, but hopefully it at least gives you an idea of the region :)

Labels in colors - Blue: families of Japheth, Red: families of Ham, Purple: families of Shem

Various observations:

It's interesting that Noah's family is described as coming from the east in Genesis 11:2 and there are the three sons of Noah (Shem, Ham, and Japheth). Later, Abraham's family travels farther westward, toward the Promised Land, and there are three men named in the beginning of the journey in Genesis 11:31 (Abram, Terah, and Lot) and later there are the three Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob).

In Genesis 10, where the descendants of Noah and their associated regions are described, each son's listing seems to follow a general clock-wise pattern. For example, Japheth's first son is associated with Europe, then moving north-east, west, and again north. Maybe I'm oversimplifying it, but it was something that I noticed as I went through the lists and marked them on the map.

Using Blue Letter Bible's Chronological Map, it appears that when Abram was born, there were 10 generations of his ancestors living at the time! (Noah - Shem - Arphaxad - Salah - Eber - Peleg - Reu - Serug - Nahor - Terah - Abram) The interesting thing is that the first of these to die was Peleg ("in his days the earth was divided").

genesis.jpg
life, Aaron&#39;s rod, budded and blossomed

Professional Aromatherapist Certification Course

After dabbling with essential oils for a few years and attending several workshops and an online courses, I've committed to enrolling in a certified program to become a professional aromatherapist. I'm really excited to be taking this step!

The program I've enrolled in is offered by Essence of Thyme College of Holistic Studies in British Columbia, Canada. It's approved by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy and the Alliance of International Aromatherapists. It's a 400+ hour online course of study that includes a comprehensive curriculum, exams, and case studies.

I'm interested in developing my own blends and sharing essential oils with others, but I want to be well-educated so I can do so safely and professionally. That's what encouraged me to take this step and pursue certification. I did some back-to-school shopping for notebooks and folders and just submitted my application. It's going to be challenging, but I am very excited about taking this step toward more professional work with essential oils. :)

Some of the books and supplies that I've been studying with the past few years. I've come quite far already since my first experimentation with oils back in 2016.

essential-oils-supplies-2019 copy.jpg