Ghosts in the Graveyard

When I was a young scrap of a girl growing up in a trailer park with skinned knees, Kool-Aide stains on my face, and thinking I had the world on an oyster because I could do side kicks on a BMX bike- me and my other ruffian Huffy and BMX biker gang used to drop our kicks and play this game called “Ghost in the Graveyard.” Basically, one of us would fling the others around and we’d have to freeze where we landed and the swinger would hide somewhere. The frozens would yell the numbers out on the clock and shout “MIDNIGHT” then we’d rush out to find the swinger and when we found them we’d yell, “Ghost in the Graveyard!” Well this is a a-lot like this blog post. Scary as F! Just kidding, risky and haphazard.

I was told in College once that it was now okay to call myself a writer. Weird that I needed that validation. It basically went like this, “You are a writer, you write, start calling yourself one, or basically, start pitching yourself as one. I remember thinking “That’s it?” Yep, that’s how you become a writer. It also became abundantly clear to me that writing is a process, a journey, a lot of rejection, and if your goals were success well…prepare yourself, even great writers need a side hustle.

I finally decided I’ve got buckets of journals, I am going to write anyway. I write because I have to. I write for survival. I’d write for free, and so here I am. Throwing it out on a blog because with or without this blog I write, and if you change the word “blog” out for “validation” it goes like this, “I write with our without validation.” Occasionally, there may be an onlooker, but still I write. Then there’s this idea. “If a tree falls in a Forest, and there was no one to observe it, did it really fall?”

So, goes the graveyard of unpublished blog posts. If no one observed them did I really write them? If they went unread am I really a writer? So I reviewed them. I suffer from imposter syndrome but this time I did not imposter myself as much as usual. I thought hmm…not half bad, or not as bad as I thought, and maybe I should spread these out and publish them because right now I’m not looking like much of a writer because the crickets are chirping on my blog which has essentially become a famine.

So this is validation for MYSELF mostly, that I am in fact a writer and I’ve not stopped writing, so here’s me committing blogger suicide putting four “former ghosts” on the web in no particular order so I can hit publish and say that they exist. Read on if you will, but for myself I am “published.” It’s the best I can do for now, and I’m still putting myself out there so here they are:

Daily Prescriptions

It was a Saturday, and some bearded man with the most stunning eyes I have ever seen approached me from Life Seasons. I won’t lie. We have some mighty fine looking vitamin and herb reps that come into my corner of the store. Don’t even get me started on the Himalaya and Gia Earth man, the one that’s named after fire. I’m a married woman to a good man, so generally I just try and stall these reps until the afternoon gals come in so I can swoon vicariously through them.

I was caught off guard by the Life Seasons man because I hadn’t seen him in awhile and was unrecognizable without the beard. He said, “Oh, I remember you, your that gal that came over from the pharmaceutical medical industry.”

I said, “Yes, I came over to the the dark side, or maybe even the light side, depending on how you look at it. ” I realized that this statement was much more loaded than I thought. Earlier in the week, I went ice fishing with my husband. I stayed at camp, read novels, hiked with the dog, rock hounded on the shores, and at night listened to the eerie sound of the ice bellowing. On one particular day, I made a big pot of chili that my husband pulled out to his fellow fishermen on a sleigh. I received a few polite knocks on my door by a fellow named Gordy and another old Alaskan fisherman by the name of Shorty thanking me for the best chili they’d ever eaten. Anything tastes good on the ice.

The next night, we were pounding a few drinks down and Fox news was in the background. You guessed it, GULP. The question came up of who I voted for and suddenly it was like nobody liked my chili anymore, or had they known, they would not have given my chili one bite. I had a good conversation with Gordy, but not so much Shorty. I held back a lot, for me anyways, and just listened. Gordy and I agreed, had we been strangers or acquaintances on the internet we would be seething and hating each other with a passion, but here we were out in some remote shack on the ice and we’d just shared the same pot of chili and eaten from the same smoked salmon, and we’d found the other to be agreeable so we were far beyond that.

What I gathered the most from our conversation was that there was this idyllic fallacy happening about “the good old days” and “the way America used to be.” I don’t even know if fallacy is the right word. I’d call it over romanticized myth. I realized at the root of all this political discourse was the fear of change and a threat to a rural way of life that was deemed Idyllic and glorified. I took a deeper look into the heart of the urban/suburban divide, and the difference between “college educated” versus that of ranching, agriculture, industry, or vocation, and how these things played highly into one’s perception.

Yes, there were other layers to this, and some of them not so pretty. I realized how far in the deeps someone would go to defend a dream, but at the core, at the very bottom layer, I realized one would partake of rotten fruit on either side to maintain what they held to be “the American ideal.” We both had disagreements within our own ranks about things we had to stomach to maintain what we felt aligned with our ideals. We openly admitted, yes, it was hard to stomach the extremism of the “other side” but there were also things within our ranks that we felt were of questionable morale and we had to choose.

I realized that here we had a “hard-core conservative” and a “bleeding heart liberal” and neither of us was the poster child boogey man the other envisioned. I realized that media would have us think in terms of tribalism and polarization but in that fishing shack out in the sticks somewhere what we were seeing was an entirely different matter. It was a FAR better and REAL example of the nuances to every day life. In a way, I felt like the biggest threat to our sense of stability had more to do with Media than anything. That constant playing to “the other” about “the other.” I realized that we were all being played and that some serious deconstruction needed to happen for everyone everywhere.

I realized that anything that would have me view another as “the other” was harmful. I realize I needed to let go of “cancel culture” and have more open ended conversations and stop making over generalized assumptions about what the other was willing to swallow, because the hard reality is we’ve all been drinking from a poisonous well to maintain policies that were near and dear to us. So yes, when I put this in the context of the Life Seasons rep, I have to think in terms of the dark side and the light side depending on how you look at it. It’s not all black and white and there are bucket loads of nuance and it was sad to have this conversation with someone where tribalism ran deep and they shut me out and immediately stating “It is. It’s all Black and White. It really is that simple, it’s all black and white.”

I realized that shamelessly I was the right wing media sucker to his left and how we’d both been better off if we had just shut it all off for awhile and let our real life interactions interpret our reality instead of allowing our views to be perpetuated continuously and virtually via the media. I feel like I’d been drowning for so long, and coming up for air, and it’s refreshing. Anyway, this is just a long blog post that can be summed up in a quote. “Tyranny is the deliberate removal of nuance.” So, just a little somethin’ something to chew on as I ponder and evaluate resources of media and how so many are being played without our conscious knowledge. Maybe the polarization is not the problem, but the catalyst.

The Uncomfortable Awakening and Universal Principles

I am having a moment of paralyzation in a sense. What should I be doing now? What can I do RIGHT now that will make this day better or impactful in any way? Today, I got nothing. So I write. Today, I dropped some paperwork off at my daughter’s pediatrician. Tomorrow, we tackle where to go with said paperwork. In a nutshell the kids are not okay, the kids are so not okay. I know there are a lot of people sounding alarms about this current Pandemi, climate and all, and I wish I could blame it all on that, but to be honest, so many of our children were walking around in a fragile state before all of this began. There was not room for overflow. It’s hard for me to actually type the words, my children are among them. I have a daughter crying out for help, and it’s off to counseling we go.

Let’s face it. I have struggled with counseling in the past, because although necessary, it’s unnerving to have you, your life, and your entire family dynamic looked at under a microscope. A great deal of psychology is wrapped up in who to blame and where do you go from there? It’s sobering, shame inflicting, anxiety inducing, and all the ghosts come flying out of the closet. Many of which you felt were dead and buried, put on hold, or stashed away somewhere to never be dealt with again because you were just flat our tired of seeing them over and over again. My ghosts have not gone away. I just realized they are chameleon ghosts and they keep showing up with different faces.

I asked for this. I asked for this “Great Awakening.” This sort of rebirth that is going to get me to the other side. I know this sounds like a bunch of who-ha but I realize it’s time I reconciled with my shadow self. The prospect is really terrifying and the wisest thing I have seen on the internet went something like this: Real Change comes only when your are willing to acknowledge that you are tired of your own sh*t.

I am tired of it. I am tired of recycling through the same demons with different faces. Yes, I’ve done the work where I’ve acknowledged the great pain others have wrought upon my life, and that yes, there were in fact toxic people in my life who have done a great deal of harm, but now, I am at the part where I have to ask myself what was it in me that resonated with the shadow in them? I’ve been thinking a lot about spiritual laws and the law of attraction. This is kind of tricky, because there is also the law of opposites.

I had a deep rooted conversation with someone about this at my job last night. We discussed what an incubus was, what a succubus was, and then I got caught up in the words. Where do these terms come from and did they come from Greek Mythology? As near as I could tell from a quick Google search, these terms are latin and came about during the 14th century. Then we went down this path of Universal laws and how the person I was having this discussion with felt like he knew a succubus who wanted so much control over others she could not fathom the universal principle over the law of detachment, or simply allowing others to have their agency without her wanting to control others outside herself, as if everything had to adhere to how she willed them. It had me thinking, hmm…have I ever encountered a succubus?

Just for a quick review, and I have no idea why this blog has traveled in this direction but the path to clarity is always murky in the beginning so I am going to go with it. I’m obviously caught in this thought loop for a reason.

Incubus and Succubus: The male and female counterparts of each other. The Succubus being a sort of sexual predatory entity that preys on men, drawing energy from them, to sustain themselves, in a sense, a predatory sexual vampire. An Incubus, on the other hand, is the male version of this. Another sort of supernatural being that preys on women sexually to sustain themselves.

Granted, I don’t believe my friend was referring to an actual succubus and that word was just a basic metaphor for someone tangible who was draining the energy source out of someone he knew, to the point where he did not know them anymore and deemed them miserable and unrecognizable from their former self.

Now onto the three Universal Laws I mentioned earlier:

The law of detachment: The law of detachment has roots in several religious practices. Such as Taoism, Jainism, and Buddhism. In essence, greater outcomes will manifest themselves when we detach from them. It is about relinquishing control and aligning with trust. It allows one to be present in the now instead of attached to outcomes that are tied up in our expectations. In relationships it can mean detaching from others and focusing on self, therefore the reward (by association) would be improved relationships because we focused on what we had control over which spilled over, hence, improving relationships outside ourselves without the “other” being the initial agenda. Basically when we release our attachment to expected outcomes, the Universe can get to work. The Law of Detachment puts us into a mode of receiving rather than resisting which can be counter productive to allowing all possibility to present itself.

The Law of Attraction: Basically this law refers to like attracts like, and from a quantum physics perspective this law is gaining more and more momentum that is evidence based. The best definition I can find on this that is not too scientifically complex and covers all the bases is this: “We are the creators and controllers of our own life, and the energy we are all made of.” Whoa! Mind blowing, liberating and empowering. Also, sketchy at the same time. If like attracts like, what am I putting out into the universe that will come back to me, how can I alter or change the energy flow of my own creation? Karma is very much tied into the Law of Attraction. You reap what you sow, or as the book of Proverbs mentions, “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.”

The Law of Polarity: Everything has its own opposite. There is a duality to opposites that make them the same. Things that appear to be opposites are actually two inseparable parts of the same thing. Each polarity has the potential for its opposite. It is a matter of harnessing this energy of opposites to benefit you. Often times is is a matter of remaining vigilant with your preferred polarity while also vigilantly maintaining that the other exists and must also remain in check. One can not remain too hyper focused on one without having acknowledgement of the other or their is capacity for the disruption of energy flow and balance. Metaphorically speaking, your batteries need to align within the appropriate poles, or their is dysfunction. Sometimes it is not a matter of repelling our opposite but maintaining that we can coexist with our opposite, and harnessing the energy that comes with that opposite in a balanced way is vital in maintaining the host that two opposing forces are part of.

So what does this all have to do with me, therapy, and my children?

First of all, I’ve had an incubus attached to my entire life story, metaphorically speaking. It presents itself in many forms over and over again. I want to detach from it and allow the Universe to take care of this, but on the other hand, I have failed at this terribly. It is attached to my entire story. It may not go anywhere, and there may be a polarity complex I may never be rid of because they are attached to the same host. What if I’m the host? I am part my mother and I am part my father. Holy Fuck I just blew my own mind. My relationship with my paternal figure is complicated, yet he resides in me. My mother was generous of herself to a fault, the greatest enabler. They both reside in me and I have no idea how to make peace with it but it’s made me an unstable element, it’s killing the host, it’s poisoning the people around me, and now we all need therapy. THIS. THIS. This is why I’m not at all jazzed about pursuing therapy. Round eight, nine, ten, or eleven, who fucking knows. I’m tired. The people around me are tired. I’m tired of my own sh*t. This Fucking sucks, am I having an awakening or an actual breakthrough because I am so done doing this again and again and again and again. Maybe some of us are just BROKEN. That’s the scariest part about this always constantly being reminded that I may be incapable of mending and this is all just baked in. Then comes the law of attraction. Physics included. “We are the creators and controllers of our own life and the energy we are made of. ”

Then there’s this: The Law of Conservation of Energy.

Energy can neither be created or destroyed, only converted from one form of energy to another. I think that may be one of my biggest life lessons. I basically exist as a transformer. There’s all this energy. I’m not getting rid of it. How do I transform it now? How do I convert this from one form of energy into another. Well, my friends, that is the trick of it. That is the trick of Awakening if there is such a thing. So here I go, off to therapy. I’m in for a rude awakening and its never comfortable. Inevitable but so not comfortable. So with that in mind I bid this blog post adieu as I pursue yet again another avenue to healing. its not that I despise therapy. I am just tired of getting it in pieces and I wish someone would just come out and say it. Healing is not linear and you are never going to get the entire package at once. It is almost a red flag if anyone proclaims to have the whole deal. Healing is like a recipe. A dash of this, a dash of that, marinate for awhile, add the leavening, rise up, punch yourself out, low simmer, rapid boil, and really it is about maintenance and tuning up constantly.

Until next post!

Rachelle Whiting

Lost in Transition

Hey ya’ll. Another January blog post. Perhaps one of the more normal variety. Ha ha ha just kidding. Las night I had this conversation with my husband about 1970-1980 early Country hits. We discussed Rhinestone Cowboy, and Hey, Did You Happen to See the Most Beautiful Girl in the World? Then the conversation went to Shelly Long from Cheers and how old she must be now and does anyone know where she is? How she has aged? Is she faring well? My husband could not for the life of him figure out how we went from old Country hits to Shelly Long. My mind knows. It pieced it all together. The autistic mind knows, but someone on the outside may not see how a person like me can flip topics like that and keep them in the same conversation.

If you know you know. I get it. I talk to other people on the Autistic spectrum, they get it. As a writer, it is a terrible thing to have because there is this thing called transitioning. I guess you can say I am completely lost in transition. I am not just talking about communication here, I am talking about everything since 2020. Everything is transitioning into what? This falling apart thing then coming together. What the hell is this all about?

I am going to add two things to this. 1)As an empath I am hypersensitive to taking on energies that aren’t my own. 2). Hello Autism, hyper sensory. Sometimes I feel I am completely F’d. So really this brings it down to two things, the less sensory stimulation the better, and keeping my inner bubble as tight as it needs before going to the outer bubble, then taking it back down to the inner bubble. It is this constant play of shrinking and expanding like an inhale and exhale on a set of lungs.

I have low standards. I keep hearing all this talk about New Years and detoxing. I thought about a Whole 30 and decided the best detox I can do at this point is simple hydration, adding lemon to my water maybe. I cant even hydrate properly at this point. I can’t commit to running, so I say 25 minutes on the tread. Just get the heart rate up. Commit to that. Cold showers to reset my energy, give me a boost, make me feel alive and or rejuvenated.

Thats it. That is my wellness plan right now. Heart rate up, hydrate, refresh. The cleanse part is cleansing one thing a day. A drawer, a corner, some emails. I do this with intention. Literally just calling one thing a day a cleanse makes it a cleanse. It is about chipping away at one thing at a time. Then I practice one thing I can do for myself a day, then I look at my relationships. Which one can I improve on today.

I start the day asking the Universe or whatever, what is the one thing you would have me know today. this takes practice. Sometimes the answers are profound, sometimes its about taking something out of the freezer, sometimes it is you need to pay more attention to the dog, sometimes the answer is you need more D3 and K2. I try to fall asleep with intention. What does my subconscious mind need me to see?
I approach my weekends the same way. What would you have me do with this time? Its not always about busting my chops either. Sometimes it is about rest, literally, rest. This weekend I got rest all the rest of the damn day, just rest, day two I got cleanse, day three I got recharge. Spend time with your daughters.
I got a selenite bowl, some new stones from a rock shop, I threw all my jewelry into the bowl as ceremony of recharging, cleansing, and resetting. I mean what could it hurt? It certainly could not harm. My daughters and I went to an antique store, we each got a trinket to support a local business, we ate sandwiches on the lawn of a historical park. Special days need special trinkets. Until further notice, we celebrate everything. We were together. We celebrated a Saturday. We must make a ritual of our time. All of it, everyday rituals. We are still here damnit. The world rages on.

I must also celebrate epiphanies. I had an epiphany about my own healing. I have always looked up to older maternal figures as guides. I had one such woman tell me once, there is THIS in you (religious trauma) I cant speak to that. You need to find someone who can, and then you will be that for someone else. Some of the best wisdom ever comes from turning it over. I realize everything I need must be the exact opposite of the cult network I was brought into.
I thought about my last healing session and what went wrong and Bingo, I decided it was that I was trying to heal something that utilized the same approach that was at the root of what harmed me in the first place. They looked different, but they were two sides of the same coin. This got me thinking about patterns and how when we discard and replace things in our life it is so important that one be mindful not to repeat patterns that appear differently just because they are branded differently. If the root is the same tear it out. An example of this would be leaving an abusive partner, setting out to find a new life, just to reset with a new abusive boss who appeared to be nothing like your former partner; Oh, but they are, they so are.

I guess you can say I grew up in a highly patriarchal cult religion. It gets even weirder on my mom’s side of the family because it is like a cult within a cult. You may have guessed it, yep, I grew up Mormon. My mom’s side of the family were fundamentalists. I have two great-grandmothers who I guess you can say were influential figures. In my life at least. One left her husband with nine kids and a bad heart to live in a tent in the desert because she had enough of that crap, the other was on a most wanted list, and was a very powerful tool for fundamentalist patriarchy. She wrote many books on religion and keeping women in line. She had a lot to say about women’s bodies and keeping them covered. Sex was for procreating not recreating. Oh, and keep your garments on.

The story gets even weirder. There is murder in my family history. This thing called blood atonement and the murdering of apostates, or basically the culling of those who fell from the church. Family members killing family members, and bloodshed over rightful leadership. It hardly gets any more sinister than that. This only goes back a few generations.
Needless to say, radicalism and blind faith run deep in my family lines. It is a problem. It looks differently over the years, but it is still the same damn problem. Recently (Ha-hum) it has looked an awful lot like Trumpism, white nationalism, and the suppression of others because “religious liberties” have been “infringed” upon, but it has taken many other forms as well. It is unsettling and triggering.

For example, a lot of Mormonism and what they refer to as the restoration is based on visions, talking to angels, and priesthood keys or powers arriving to earth to men only via angelic ministry. Women don’t have the keys, Black men didn’t either, Not for a very long time.

Anyhow, I was offered a healing session recently by a “shamanic healer” with Crystals, incense and drums, etc. by a woman who also felt their insights or powers came through spirits, angelic ministry, etc. and is it any wonder that I freaked out but was also intrigued. The audacity of women having access to higher spiritual realms. I have had some family members who are dead now who believed they talked to spirits and/or angels (both genders) and it came to no good. The worst outcomes, more than I ever wanted to fathom. The common denominator in these recent tragedies? Drug use, or drug induced schizophrenia, and religious fanaticism baked in, such a toxic mix.

I saw two red flags:

1). Spirit guided messages that were contradictory, extremely far out, didn’t come to pass or could lead to no good. Isolating followers into hive thinking.

2). I was required to submit my will to theirs or be cut off, my redemption was through them, and I was just supposed to accept that they had higher spiritual knowledge I did not have and therefore I was incapable of discerning things for myself.

Okay, so what this boils down to is religious or spiritual trauma, this Shamanic healing session was the same damn thing, but packaged differently, and my mind was weak from coming off of Covid. Yes, I knew my words were scrambled but I had no idea it was impacting my judgement.

There is another part. I think I always knew what this was. I had other family members fall privy to this, people I loved. I think I got tangled up in this because I saw them in her. I loved them, I guess you can say I loved her. I knew what this was, two sides of the same coin, but I was still struggling to find my peace with it.

I took the role of observer and basically walked into the heart of a ritual I felt uncomfortable with because I thought I could fix this. I cant fix this. I only have control over myself. I feel that with God, that inner voice, discernment, or a higher power or whatever it is engrained in me got me out of a bad situation and I defended myself, refusing to submit my will to another, but the message I got within myself was ”Don’t test me” or ”Why are you testing this?” I obviously allowed things to go beyond my level of comfort and I put another before myself putting myself in a bad spot, and you know…empathy without boundaries is self destruction.

I struggle, and it is apparently ongoing. That constant struggle to discern for myself and to not be oppressed by those who claim to have higher spiritual knowledge or authority over me. I struggle with a masculine god, or rather, a white patriarchal oppressive god, or rather a god who gave me intellect but I should not use it, or a god who wants my complicity to my own demise or the detriment of others. This is where I struggle to find my peace. I want to find the peace in something that is pure but it appears every well is tainted. It is a constant battle to find peace in the unknowns and imperfections throughout this existence, so maybe, just maybe I just need to find the peace in learning to sit with them. Accepting that I too dont always know what I am doing, and that sometimes discernment comes from experience, and when healing “trauma” do I really want it pulled out of me? Maybe the key to trauma is sitting with it like an old friend and teacher. Sometimes existing trauma guides me and that is okay. Some lessons are meant to sit with us and if I am attached to it that is A-okay, it is part of who I am. Transformative and informative. My life’s journey. A metamorphosis with wings.

Until next post!

Rachelle Whiting

Eco Anxiety (Before the Delta)

I would like to commend anyone who is reading this first sentence. I mean, judging by the title, why would anyone want to take a dive into a post that has the word “anxiety” in it? I mean, many of us have practically been living it for a year, but hey, I read an article today about concert goers in Britain and it gave me some hope. Israel has given me some hope too in the Covid department minus a recent tragedy where attendees were trampled at a religious ceremony. India? Not so much, but I’m paying attention because I don’t want to feel as if I’m becoming dehumanized. I had a moment of dehumanization today, I won’t lie. I read a recent article about how over 90 people were found in a Houston home. My first thought was, “Oh boy, the Q people are going to have a field day with this.” A further search reiterated that this was a human smuggling case and not a TRAFFICKING case, and that those found were primarily men minus five women and at the time sources were reporting that no children were present.

Okay, I’ve been struggling to fathom the intensity of every day life with the images of funeral pyres in India versus the anti-mask moms in my community who want the mask mandates in schools to end who have also been called out for Dr. shopping for exemptions. I get the frustration with masks, we are all tired of wearing them, but when I look at India versus the oppression I am hearing about in these school board meetings I just want to shake my head, go home, and hide my head under a pillow. Anyone over 16 can get a vaccine now in my State who wants one, and really, I am just so blessed. Only four percent of the population in India has been vaccinated. In Utah, we are forty percent and holding.

Okay, so my ADD just kicked in and I went off topic. So here I was thinking about these 90 people found in a house in Houston, just trying to process what the Q people were going to say, or how bad this looked for immigration and then I went down another rabbit hole. I ran across another story that said these people were found huddled together in two sections of a house. Conditions were deplorable. These people had not eaten in a while, some had fevers, and others had Covid symptoms such as a loss of taste or smell. I was led to a link on Twitter titled, “Kindness during such a sad story.” It showed images of neighbors dropping off soup, clothing, bags of clothes, and tortillas. Then I cried. I realized that I had not become quite so dehumanized after all.

Okay, brushing away a tear now. Pull it together Rachelle. I always knew we were in a global pandemic, but the global part just didn’t really register with me until this week. Variants in India can inadvertently make their way here and it just hit me hard that what this situation requires is a tremendous amount of epic worldwide cooperation which seems to be in short supply. If I go down the rabbit hole of climate change, there is that too. No man is an Island, and looking out for number one may not be feasible in a crises of the global variety. It’s as if we are being forced to reconcile with the fact that we must start considering others. Is it such a bad thing? For those of the conspirituality variety, that would probably be a resounding yes. I don’t know what this “push” is about but I am definitely re-examining these recent events as a tremendous teacher and not so much as a vice. I’m also learning that perception plays a huge part in eco-anxiety.

My goal is not to depress. I never intended to write a wellness blog. This is not a wellness blog. I repeat this is not a wellness blog. I mean, I don’t exactly have the credentials for it but I have been noticing a huge trend in the wellness, “holistic” and conspirituality industry where credentials are not exactly required. This has opened up a whole new brand of horror. Take for example that movie where teens are dancing around a maypole at some Norwegian retreat and it turns into some nightmare where someone winds up being sewn up into a bear suit. Nicole Kidman has a new horror film coming out where she plays a sinister wellness guru. I’m also reconciling grief with my former teenage self who went to a National Rainbow gathering only to have by body violated by a mushroom dealer. WHAT?

Deep breath…TMI? The clencher was that in my past, I had been analyzing my presence at this “pagan festival” so I gravitated toward this man who I thought had “Christian values” among all that pagan hedonism, who had been going to school to become a preacher and quoted scripture. What a HUGE mistake that turned out to be. Just this week, I ran into an old diary entry at the request of a friend and let me tell you, that preacher drop out I chose to hang with just wasn’t right. The red flags were waving, only I didn’t see them then. Running across that entry has been a part of my “self healing” journey, “shadow-work” or whatever you want to call it. These last four years have been very triggering.

I always found solace in the peace of wild things. Pagan or Christian, sinister qualities can come in many varieties. What lies beneath “the brand” truly is as the heart of the matter. Do I worship this planet? Maybe, I just have a great appreciation for how this planet has held me. Ecologically I mourn for the best thing I ever had going for me. One can not know that feeling until you have walked on the sponginess of the earth and found yourself crying in a heap of moss. Man, this blog is going to a weird place. I recall a trip I went to in South Carolina where I visited an old plantation house. It was eerie. I don’t know why it was on the list. I watched some odd movie about how well the slaves were treated there and I opted out of the home tour. I chose instead to take a nature tour to look at alligators, oak tress, and blue herons. I wondered how many former slaves had found a moment of solace in an oak tree or a blue heron. Nature does not discriminate. Even when she’s mad, it’s not personal.

Anyhow, what is happening across this spinning globe of ours has felt most impactful. I am not alone in this. Eco-anxiety is a thing, sprinkle in a little pandemi, or what have you, and eco-anxiety can most certainly be exacerbated. From where I’m standing, I’m receiving drought notifications about water restrictions and just recently I’ve had family members who were evacuated due to fire this early in the season. Ha! So what is the solution? The good news is eco-anxiety is a “thing” or rather a “term” now. It can at least be addressed. This general feeling of uneasiness does have a name.

I’ve just begun to address this in myself so of course I’ve been on the look out for resources. I’m trying to be pro-active about this. Being pro-active is the first step to eliminating some of those feelings of “impending doom” that generate feeling of helplessness. Also, sometimes a lot of anxiety comes from pushing something back instead of acknowledging it. Many mystics have said that resistance is not always the answer, that thing we are trying to push off needs acknowledgement. I found EFT therapy to be somewhat helpful due to the simple fact that one must say, “that even though such and such is happening and I am feeling this way, I love and accept myself.” It sounds crazy I know, but self love despite any feeling is beneficial. It is really amazing how just coming back to center, and the core of who I AM feels empowering. I have control over myself even though I have no control over external forces and I can give myself the love and empathy that I need whenever I require it. I am enough.

I can take it even further and imagine that I am a power source within a higher power source that I can tap into at anytime and that reservoir is limitless, infinite, and perfect despite what is going on around me. I am reminded of Bob Marley lyrics, “have no fear for atomic energy, because none of them can stop the time.” Listening to tunes such as these that remind me of the infinite are also helpful.

I ran across another resource through Insight Timer on my phone. Hurray! The Universe has me. This showed up when I needed it. I did a ten day eco-anxiety meditation challenge. I got a lot out of it. I can’t get into all of it here but the general consensus was that any small thing I did, that I had control over was a catalyst for change and a propulsion forward. Active energy radiates. Stagnant energy does not. Defeatism is not the answer, and I may never know the impact of my actions but that is okay. The ripples in my pond are rippling and I must trust that they have more impact than I can fathom.

I realized that I had to filter the doom and gloom more in my life and that it was okay to do so for self care purposes. I’m no good to this planet or anybody if I am not taking care of myself. I evaluated where I was getting my eco news from and the resources that felt apocalyptic and sensationalized over those that made me feel hopeful or rational. I also realized that it was okay to be completely honest with myself and see the situation I am in with this planet as vicarious. Denial is part of the grieving process, but then again, so is acceptance. I have the courage to be forthright in my understanding of the way things are.

I found a third resource but I don’t know if it’s exactly a resource yet. I could regret dropping this one, but I felt encouraged by it because the author’s foreword to their newsletter was exactly what I needed to hear. In a nutshell, what I was needing was for somebody to shoot me straight without killing my sparkle. Nobody needs to snuff out another’s candle, especially with something as weighted as this. While I am on the subject of weighted, I was reminded in a meme about future generations, how we used to put our children to sleep with fables and bedtime stories and now we do it with weighted blankets, anxiety medication, or melatonin. Call me crazy but I think we need “to get back” to fables and bedtime stories. This detachment from the earth, imagination, myth, and wild things are contributing to the problem.

Anyhow, back to my latest resource. I have recently subscribed to a newsletter put out by The Atlantic that addresses climate change. I’ve been rather impressed with the Atlantic’s reporting on the climate crises and the pandemic. I needed to find a climate resource that I can trust. One that I felt more comfortable with, like an old friend. The Atlantic has gotten me through a lot these last two years. It’s the type of journalism I would aspire towards if I were so inclined to be a journalist. It’s impossible to hold any news source to a perfect standard, and I’m not trying to sell anyone on The Atlantic but I would suggest channeling your environmental news into a resource you can more easily digest. The Atlantic may not be it for you. Find something you can trust. It’s kind of like choosing which Doctor you would choose to be the bearer of troubling news if the situation became dire, one who could also hand out hope while giving you options that are feasible and realistic.

I realize that I have been far too haphazard with where I was getting my climate news and information. This is a delicate matter. it should be handled with care. The delivery of this information is just as pertinent as the actual information. I may not be able to choose the outcome but I can choose how this information is delivered to me. Do I want doom and gloom, or do I want empathy and compassion with my climate news. I do believe David Attenborough has done an excellent job with this. God bless him. No wonder he had so many followers on Instagram on his first day.

I am also not married to any particular resource. If they no longer fulfill my requirements, I can always freely change up where and how I choose to get my information, how much I am willing to take in at once, and how much I must pull back for the sake of my own well being. It also helps to find a community, a pocket in the world, where people are making a a difference. Jane Goodall teaches this a lot. One of my eco-anxiety meditations focused on this, manifesting a community of like minded people in your life who are interested in forging change through impactful and positive ways. Lastly, if one is consumed by the work, one can choose to set time aside for that purpose so they can focus on other things and lead a well balanced life. If the Earth needs balance, so do we. Balance is also another key element to combatting eco anxiety.

I must add another snippet here. Make the small changes in your life that you would like to see manifested in the world. It won’t make you feel so powerless. You may not be able to solve the world’s plastic problem, but you can do it in your home. Treat these individual tasks as rituals because then they will hold more power. Having a sustainable food source in your yard, canning your own food, making your own soap, these can all be rituals.

Well I’ve said enough for one day, maybe too much. My mind is more at ease now and I love and accept myself even though I am scatter brained, wear my heart on my sleeve, and sometimes my thoughts are all over the place while blogging.

Until next post!

Rachelle Whiting

That’s it! That’s the end of the Ghosts in the Graveyard. They exist damn-it! They exist!

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