Archive for March 2009

wellness and illness

March 25, 2009

yesterday on our way to quezon city, i did all the bodytalk access on ed. ed wasnt feeling ill but he was red as a tomato. i thought the rash was a food allergy but he wasnt feeling sick.ed was his usual self,thinking fast and talking well. so i thought it must be the summer heat and i kept giving him water to cool him. i talked to his spine by tapping his crown and heart. i tapped his back continuously until we boarded the fast ferry to batangas.

ed went to sleep on the boat while i reviewed what i learned about wellness and illness. being healthy is not just the ability to live and function well. it is also about listening to body signals. it is learning when to press the healing key when one gets ill. daily stress can bring both illness and death. i remember ayen telling me about the recent deaths of two friends. they died due to asthma attacks. ayen felt very bad about their sudden deaths and i can sympathise with her. the only advise i give her is to be mindful of her bodytalk. i told her the many signals that our body provides but are unattended. i have studied so many body signals and the most valuable is pain. it may start with discomfort or some unease. when i feel a change in one’s mood, it is a signal from the brain that something is not in synch. people dismiss feelings of unease and tell oneself  ” it is just in the mind, dont worry.” but the brain has an advance scanner and it is in the limbic system. there are many communication networks inside us and the limbic system is the call center. so i always tell ayen ” pay attention to how you feel.”

so when ed and i got home, i called my  dermatologist sister  ceres to check what ed’s redness could be. with ceres’ instructions, i check behind ed’s ears and felt a little lump. “that’s a viral rash,” ceres said ” please give him vitamin c and an antihistamine for three days .” it will be over in three days and if he doesnt have any itchiness, just have him rest. ” diagnosed ceres. we all sighed in relief and ed went to prepare his documents for KL.

ed doesnt always get his body signals right , so  i play  call center and  give him feedback. that is part of  our bodytalk. we need each other to read each other’s health signs. that is  the reason why wellness is a social endeavour. when one is well, the people around you see and feel it.  our energy is a precious resource and wellness is its main talk.

dental poke and jaw courage

March 20, 2009

every week, i dare myself go to my orthodentist. for a whole month, i had all the excuses not to see my orthodentist. because my mother died i told myself i will devote a whole month to prayers. but after four weeks of being  stress free, my dentist text me ” When will  you come for the delayed drill po ?”

so i wrote to my bodytalk access mentor, dorothy friesen. she guided me to practice bodytalk and rely on my innate wisdom. she told me about the stomach meridian points and the 5 chinese elements. they seem to be a fine way of reaching my inner jaw wisdom. after doing the protocols . that’s how the bodytalk access begins, it’s smart and easy to do.  i went to my orthodentist. she missed me and put out all the sharp metal drills. wow! i  felt butterflies rioting in my gut and once the drilling started, all the energy went into my ears and stomach. i  almost jumped out of the dental chair but restrained myself by saying ” can we just drill for 10 minutes? ” “let’s talk more and find another way to dissolve the glass polymer cement?” i pleaded.  in a short period of rest, my orthodentist said ” why dont we examine your   temporamandibular jaw?”   in short, my dentist had an inspiration ” to prevent any damage to your jaw and face, you may have your x rays and photographs tomorrow.”  oomm, that seems to be a sound protocol. since i had problems earlier with my bite and  jaw.  had been preventing it with acupuncture sessions, i consented to go for it. so off i went to Sm Block for the lapid dental clinic.

what a session to have your jaw and mouth examined by x ray and digital picture technology! for the fearless, i recommend it as a rite of passage. for the timid, shout and keep your bite. it is not a relaxing photo shoot. all i could do was bear and grin the process. it is almost like a surreal protocol. first they let you stand in the x ray room wearing a heavy metal vest. then they hook you up in a contraption that immobilizes your head and something goes inside your ears to block the radiation. the technician, who happened to be pregnant, tells you ” Relax your lips, bite,close your mouth, say MMMMM, dont move your head, dont close your eyes, dont move at all.” she does the operation outside the room and you get zapped right and  left ,3 times. that means 6 xray photos.  then she instructs me  “You will have your photo ops”/ thinking it is the usual digital photos, i went out to the dentist who has been napping in the other room. she looks at me and tells me ” sit down po dito” . she looks at my face, then touches my shoulders, rearranges my seat, shoots every angle. she examines all the pictures but never shows them to me. after twenty minutes of posing  i thought it was over.

“hindi pa po tapus” she tells me while another dentist consults her over an x ray of three molars. i am made to sit in the dental chair and i see a couple of small mirrors on a dish of water. she takes the mirror and then wipes it. “I will put the mirror inside your mouth” as she was telling me “open wide your mouth, i could feel the warm metal in my cheek and two clamps on my mouth stretching it.” of course my tongue began to resist the invading mirror!  “Please relax your tongue and dont push the mirror”  reprimanded the dentist. i had to tell her to stop until i could tame my offending tongue.  this session took a lot of restraint on my part. no one explained the whole procedure. nor did i expect the sessions to be gruelling. after the whole operation, i felt my mouth traumatized and my jaw rebellious.

i immediately texted my orthodentist ” why didnt you tell me how  difficult it was to be a in a  dental photo ops?” my dentist apologized.  i  went home feeling a toothless and weak. it seemed all my privacy had been invaded. i never talked about it at home. i just went to bed nursing my mouth and jaw. this is what medical technology brings – a whole visual poke into our inner world. i pray that the next session with my dentist will not inspire her to another modern solution to my dental woes. amen.

why march 8

March 9, 2009

yesterday, i spent my time with ed and ayen at home on march 8.

twenty eight years ago,  i celebrated march 8 in the netherlands. i discovered that march 8 was celebrated first in 1911 in copenhagen when clara zetkin of the social democratic party in germany proclaimed women should be in the line of march. i met many women from various  liberation movements and parties advocating women’s freedom.  in the 1980s, i was then a volunteer of  Isis International in rome but lived in the netherlands with ed. it was exciting for me to bring home the news that march 8 is the international day of women. the women’s movements in the philippines  observe march 8 as the day of women. please  note that i state women’s movements, because women hold various orientations and there is not one ideology informing social and political actions of women.

ed asked me ” how do we celebrate march 8?” . i replied ” i dont want to  march in rallies today, ” thinking i should do something  more empowering.  but all i could do was paint and think of all the women who gave their lives to building a free and compassionate world for women and men. ed pressed on ” shall we go out and celebrate it?” ” yes but lets  find something culturally energizing.”

i remember the many friends who celebrated  march 8,  from anke reese of germany, adul de leon, bulet marasigan , christine tan,  mariani dimaranan yayori matsui of japan,  tata jacinto,  raquel tiglao,  malou doronila,  elma /lota of sarilaya and recently liclic  of hamburg . these women and many more  devoted their lives  to serve  larger movements, not just the philippines  but that of  the global women’s movements. they have crossed over to an eternal march 8.  i pray that their lives were rewarded by freedom and love in the afterlife.

my paintings of march 8 are still unfinished. they are reflections on why women need  to  march, not just on a date in a calendar but to see  the line that  women can cross.  a line of thinking that allow us to leap beyond the gap between slavery and freedom. girls, especially, need to learn that becoming women in these times  demand  courage  and compassion.  i pray that ayen, my daughter , and her generation  develop these virtues. may their  world be  free of prejudice and violence.

a mother and daughter’s trust

March 6, 2009

girlie-ayen-collageThe other day, i was talking to a mother about trusting her daughter’s decisions. Ayen overheard me and gave her advice.”she knows what to do, Nanay,” referring to the daughter.” then Ed got involved and asked Ayen ” What will you do if you were in that situation when your mother gets worried?” “I am not stupid and when I do things, I take care of myself.” Ayen replied.

so i asked “Ayen, what shall we do ?” ‘Just tell my friend to see the doctor and get the vaccine.” Ayen advised which i did and now the situation got better.  Trusting Ayen ‘s good sense  leads to a strong sense .

as a mother, we think we know more and we try to do more for our children. but we forget that as our child grows, they learn. as they enter puberty, they learn from many sources, not just within our care. as they discover other portals, the learning expands and they do well.

ayen is 18 years old now. she has grown into a beautiful and intelligent woman. whenever she tells me how i should respond to issues with her, i listen but not always with ease. i err in thinking i know more and when i realize i make a mistake, it takes an effort to admit i am wrong. inability to communicate well between mothers and daughters is a problem especially with mothers who are much older. i am forty years older than Ayen. forty years is a big number.bridging the gap in four generations is like leaping over a wide ocean. ayen’s generation has a lot of challenges that my generation struggled to tackle and overcome. knowing there are more to come, the most i can do with Ayen is learn with her, sometimes teach her and encourage her to discover sound ways of knowing. the best teacher is life. showing our daughter how to develop patience and compassion is our contribution. my experiences of this life will be invaluable to her but the lessons she will get is the sum of all the lessons she herself will get from us, from other people and especially from her own experiences. i trust Ayen will grow and have a good mind and heart. that trust is palpable and when Ayen feels that, she will face her own life with love and hope.


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