When I stepped out of the bus in San Sebastian it was as though I had been here before and my blood remembered what it was like to stand at the shore as the surf washed over the flysch rock formations. Rh negative blood, which is the type I have, has a higher concentration of copper, is considered sticky and has been associated with the migration of the giants. This blood type is ancient and without a trace of the rhesus protein. There are physiological complications to this blood type which, until modern times, remained unsolved mysteries. And yet, for me, the spiritual, psychological mysteries remained.
Before I came here these mysteries dominated my thinking. But being in a place you’ve always dreamed of is different than thinking about it. The first thing I did was fall to my knees in gratitude. Memories of past lives came flooding in. Disbelief turned to joy and inspiration. That’s when my soul asserted itself. It helped me to see that solving mysteries isn’t always the most important thing in life. Discovering myself, my lineage, my connection to this ancient RH negative blood line; that’s what mattered to me. The energy that I felt in Donostia-San Sebastian in Northern Spain on the coast of the Bay of Biscay resonated through me and something inside me healed. It wasn’t until this happened that I realized that’s why I came.
Donostia means Basque, a region I have been interested in for many years., primarily because it has the highest concentration of the RH negative blood type per capita in the world. Basque Country is ancient and unique. It didn’t take long for me to notice the circularity and smoothness of the land. With a strong connection to the elements, particularly the feminine energy of the Earth element. She is known as the Goddess Mari and is said to adopt any desired shape. She lives in the caves across the Basque Country at the trailhead of the Camino De Santiago (a pilgrims walk with Christ).
As I mentioned above RH negative blood has been associated with physical complications. The most serious was for women when they became pregnant. Any pregnancies would result in what is called blue baby syndrome. The results ranged from debilitating disease to death for the newborn. Often the baby never made it out of the womb. The worst part of it was that women had no idea why it was happening. Then in 1939 with the study of blood the RH antigen was discovered and in 1968 RhoGam vaccine was developed. The end of a horror for women happened. This is where my story begins.
My connection to the Basque country and to the blood line asserted itself when I set foot on the shore in San Sebastian. In that moment memories of loss came flooding back. I bring this up now as I believe the message is timely.
As you all know, the Supreme Court recently overturned Roe vs. Wade.
For thousands of years women were outcast for their inability to hold a child to term because of their RH negative blood type. Then modern science came up with a vaccine and women had the freedom, the right and the CHOICE to reproduce a healthy baby.
When Roe vs Wade was decided by the Supreme Court in 1973 it provided women with the right and the CHOICE to NOT Reproduce. That ruling was controversial then and , now 49 years later that choice has been taken away. The controversy has only grown more intense over the years. As I look at what’s happening I sense a deeper conflict wanting to be resolved.
I know what it’s like to choose not to have a baby, to feel the blood of a soul inside of me and to choose an abortion. When I was a teen it was an easy choice for me, maybe because my body memory had loss stored in the cells. Or maybe I was afraid of what my parents and friends would think if I had a baby. In any case my motivation was unclear and hasty.
I am pro-choice in every manner. At the same time I do feel the pain of a decision I made long ago, and who's to say I would have done it any differently knowing what I know now. It is unfortunate that there is no warning to young girls on the after effect of abortion, from the picketer’s waiting to shame you as you leave the hospital to your body revolting against you from the invasive procedure.
The consequences of even a safe abortion can wreak havoc on the body. I almost died of toxic shock syndrome while my parents lay sleeping. We were all in denial and pretending not to know what was going on. Luckily, after I screamed aloud dad ran out and got me the medicine to keep me alive while my mother kept me from slipping into a coma. The memory of her badgering me for my choice and the shame it brought to our religion is a painful for me. It was a very confusing time. It was then that I found out about my RH negative blood type. I received the vaccination.
My purpose isn’t to say what is right for a woman or not. I’m here to say this; with the overturn of Roe Vs Wade women of all ages have an opportunity to reflect on how we make the choice to have an abortion and why. Only then can we understand the impact it has, as any surgeries does. This impact is felt in the body as well as the mind, and it can last long after the surgery is complete. Our bodies remember everything, both before the surgery as well as after. Memories are also passed down through generations. They can influence the choices we make, such as whether or not to have an abortion. Having an abortion adds to the collection of memories stored in the body, memories that can have profound impact on us for the rest of our lives.
What I hope for is that women will reflect more on why they make the choices they do. What is underneath the fears that women face; what will others think? Can I afford to raise a child? Will the father stick around? And then there are the more subtle forces at work? Is it our unconscious mind? Is it cultural? Or is it our blood type? It’s different for every woman. For me it was a deep memory of loss, stored in my DNA, continuously recreating itself. A destiny for centuries of women with RH negative blood type.
The consequence of abortion are profound. They impact the mind, body and soul of a woman in the present moment and for the rest of her life, as well as her family and those close to her. And by extension everyone is affected. Though I do not believe anyone has the right to choose for me I do believe we have a right and a responsibility to be fully aware of our choice. Being clear about what we’re doing and why is critical to keeping the mind, body and soul from disintegrating.
The poem below appeared in the Fall Newsletter with a typo. Rather than seeing that typo as simply a mistake. I'm viewing it as an opportunity to emphasize what matters to me; namely using the gifts I have been blessed with to make a difference in people's lives. Please reach out to me and I promise you I will make a difference in your life.
Brave Soldier of Space
What is the best kept secret you are searching for?
It grows stronger every day
It drives you and taunts you.
You just can't get away.
Through filtered rays of light
The stars speak out through the night
I'm here for you
Brave Soldier of Space
-Karen Barbarick Collins
When I was a little girl I used to sit under the Pepper Tree in our backyard and sing the messages of the trees. I had no inhibitions of where the words came from. Just that they were there and they wanted to be sung.
I never lost that gift and in fact passed it on to my son. The only difference between then and now is that the trees are speaking louder.
Kudos to Peter who captured this moment and produced this timely video. Thank you! Together we speak on behalf of the trees.
The trees want to be heard! They're not much different than us and in fact have a common destiny. Their survival is our survival. We are one family
Please share and help us get the message out there to save the trees. Stay tuned for more "channeling the trees". We depend on each other to live.
The phrase, “You can have whatever you want” is one that rolls off the tongue in an easy, rhythmic way. It’s often followed by the caveat “If you put your mind to it”. The first part would have us believe that simply wanting something will make it magically appear. The second part suggests in a subtle, charming way that we might have to put some effort into the endeavor. Based on my own experience I believe this to be true. You might think that the first thing to do is determine what it is you want. That’s important, yes and I think there is another question worth asking yourself; “What is the point of having whatever you want?” Is it simply about material possessions or is realizing your full potential as a human important to you?
If the latter is true then I suggest that rather than ask
“What do I want in life?”
try asking “Whom do I want to be in life?”
This question would also make a great replacement for another question that we are faced with from an early age. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Replacing the word What with Who transforms the whole concept from an external label to an internal state of being. Kids often say “I want to be an astronaut” or a “fireman”. I don’t think they care about the labels. They care about who they get to be, not the credential that gives them a title. I knew one kid when I was growing up who wanted to be a garbage man because, as he said, “they get to stay out all night.” That was back before political correctness made us sanitize the labels we use for people. Now we call them sanitation workers. I don’t know whatever happened to that kid but I think he was onto something. He didn’t care about the title/label or the fact that he would be picking up trash. For him it was about being out all night. As a kid the first thing I thought was wow, that sounds so free. Isn’t that what we all want, freedom along with happiness and fulfillment?
This is about “being” rather than “having.” Being an astronaut is not the cause of happiness or fulfillment, it’s the result of it. Fulfillment, happiness, self-expression all starts inside of us. This may sound abstract and counter-intuitive. After all, how could you be fulfilled if you haven’t done something or become something yet. You might say, “I want a nice place to live in the country, with a garden and a view of the mountains. How do I make that happen?” What are the practical steps I need to take to make it a reality? This is where imagination and commitment become your allies.
Have you ever met someone you were really attracted to and imagined what it would be like to share love with that person? The shift in your being is palpable. It can even be measured with biofeedback equipment. Yet nothing has actually happened yet. It’s all in the realm of possibility. Imagining what it’s like to be in love with this new, as yet unknown person creates the possibility that it will become reality. In that moment it doesn’t matter what roadblocks might get in the way of that possibility. The heart, mind, body, and soul join together in a commitment to make it happen. This commitment is the key to bringing possibility into reality. It’s the foundation for being who you want to be.
By W. Peter Collins
When we see the words business and being in a phrase it usually goes like this: Being in Business. We all have a pretty good idea of what that involves; products, services, marketing, customers, clients, accounting, employees, long hours, stress, customer service, to name a few.
When it comes to the “Being” part though, other than being on time I don’t think we think about it much at all. It’s as if Being is part of a different realm entirely, i.e., being present, being in the moment, being in love (my personal favorite), being natural, being honest, being happy and fulfilled, being human. These are all wonderful things; ideals that we aspire to in our personal lives. We take workshops, go on retreats, and spend way too much on therapy in the quest to achieve these states of being. I find it fascinating that we don’t really put Business and Being together. Yes we put them in the phrase but not in our actions or ways of thinking, or ways of being for that matter? It’s like we’re paying lip service to Being. We put the word into the phrase and then ignore it. Why is that?
That’s the question that came up for me today when I had to make a phone call I didn’t really want to make. I should note here that I do have a business with services and clients etc. I pride myself on good customer service. That includes being straight with my clients, about what they can expect and when they can expect it. In a word, integrity.
Sometimes that means pushing myself when I’m tired or run down. That’s a choice that can appear to be good for business but is the price worth it? After all, being run down leads to being sick which leads to being NOT in business. I tried to fight this by continuing to work. I thought I could “will” myself through it but that was a fantasy. My productivity dropped and I saw myself spending time at work without getting anything done. My energy level continued to drop until my body took over and said, “That’s it, we’re taking a break.” I reluctantly went along with it (as if I really had a choice). By then it was clear I wasn’t coming through for my client. I was out of integrity and it weighed on me. I knew that I had to call or I would fall even further out of integrity.
What would I say? I asked myself. My mind did what it usually does. It started strategizing on all the things I could say that would buy some time without having to reveal what was going on. None of that felt right. I felt stuck until it occurred to me that I was afraid of revealing weakness. I was afraid of being vulnerable. Why? What was I afraid of? I looked and looked and couldn’t find anything. The fear was just there, like a bad habit, hanging around for no reason.
When I finally made the call I just started talking to my client, telling him the truth of the situation. I’ve been pushing myself for a while and I needed to rest and regenerate. I was surprised at how genuinely concerned he was. I could tell that he appreciated I was being straight with him. It wasn’t just about making the call. It was also that I wasn’t withholding or strategizing or talking without really saying anything. At that moment I felt my integrity return. I was surprised by this. I knew that integrity could be lost. I knew that it could be found too. What I didn’t realize is that sometimes it’s simply a matter of being real, being yourself. And that is what the Business of Being is all about.
W. Peter Collins, May 2021
Karen Barbarick-Collins is a Certified Ayurvedic Technician and Wellness Coach, an Accredited Neuro Linguistic Programming Coach and a Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher. She is the founder of Bending Blade Healing Arts.