“You've been walking around with an invisible disability" is what she said after mapping my brain. I knew this but worked hard at not letting anyone else know. Trauma can cause this. Feeling isolated and alone, feeling that no one understands the level of despair that can suddenly take over.
When I was 15 I was in a very bad car accident. The night of my Jr Prom, girls ask guys to dance. I was in the 10th grade and had an older boyfriend. He was beautiful and talented, a rebel and eccentric. He also had a drinking problem. Of course I didn’t notice when I got in the car because this was the environment of my own home. Domestic abuse, mental illness and codependency was a common theme. Dad said the chaos was cultural, from my mother’s side of being Italian. That was the sarcastic kind of joke that normalized the insanity but clearly Dad was not without his own trauma.
I don’t remember the exact date, just that it was fall. Around my birthday. The car spun out of control and we collided with the guard rail on the side of the freeway overlooking the Los Angeles dam. No seat belts on, this was the 80’s and not a law yet.
I stumbled out of the car. Broken arm, broken neck, a bad head injury and concussion. I wandered the busy freeway at midnight disoriented and confused. A beautiful amber angel saved my life, put us in her car and brought us to the hospital emergency entrance. I never saw her again.
Why look back all the time has been a common conversation. Stuck in the past is the symptom of PTSD or as it’s been identified as CPTSD, (the C is a new add on to this diagnosis and stands for Complex). A constant nagging neck-ache and headache, a heaviness or severe lightheadedness, run ins with depression, anxiety and the hyper-vigilance to always be fixing myself. More than 40 years later and a desire to reconcile this trauma has left me in a state of acceptance as well as compassion for self and others who are dealing with the same invisible disability. Another layer of the onion to be peeled back and at 57 hiding is not an option for me.
It started with menopause then it turned into autoimmune symptoms until it turned into chronic pain in my neck and headaches as well as a decline in my innate enthusiasm for life. Fortunately I have been involved in health and healing for over 25 years. My network of healers and personal development work has been a saving grace. What needed to come forward in myself was the end of shame and embarrassment for not being perfect, for not being strong and stoic, and for feeling like a half-baked human being.
When the delusion that I had it all together ended what was left was to surrender to what was taking place with my well-being. Faith took over and to my good fortune I met with some incredible technologies, functional medicine Doctors and Energy workers. “It’s not all your fault” were the words said to me that allowed my heart to soften and appreciate just how far I’ve come.
You see, trauma for me started way before that terrible night. In fact the existing trauma is probably what gave me the reckless behavior to even get in the car with someone who did not have my best interest in mind.
It is said that your mess becomes your message. Every human being carves out their own niche. Working on the trauma that affected my brain and my way of being in the world enables me to work with others. That is my niche.
Today I share my story about trauma and how if gone unchecked leads to risky behavior, mood swings, isolation and heartache. A poor relationship with fear is part of the brain function that gets turned inside out with trauma.
If my story resonates with you please reach out to me. I’m a highly sensitive person (HSP), with strong psychic, clairvoyant and clairaudient skills. I’m trained in Neurolinguistic Programming as well as the language of patterns and symbols. All of these phenomena are composed of energy, each with a unique signature. Reading these energies is an opportunity for healing. With so many people silently suffering from undiagnosed brain injuries, I’m writing this for you. There is no need to suffer alone. There are ways to cope, heal and even live happily ever after. Pharmaceutically free.
Spring is in the air and it is time to consider shedding the layer you’ve accumulated since the winter months. Begin to map out a plan and get the mindset of spring cleansing with more greens, leafy veggies as well as supportive herbal teas and good clean water. Get your castor oil ready to purge your gut and shed a few pounds. Rub the oil on your dry skin and take a hot sauna if you can or just soak in the bath with a little Epsom salt.
Personally I love to add more dandelions to my diet at this time. The leafy greens for juicing with celery and lime as well as dried leaf for herbal teas (add slippery elm for increased benefits). Including a few daily life hacks will begin to draw the excess build up from your organs out and cleanse the blood stream. You will feel lighter, clearer, with energy to enjoy your life.
Daylight saving will be here soon as well as the glorious magic of the Spring Equinox which marks a time when day and night, light and dark are at equal length. This is the time to bring balance back into your life. Get out doors and put your bare hands in the dirt to seed your garden. Celebrate along with the blossoming flowers the fragrance and color of Spring.
Your body is made up predominantly of water. Think about the quality of water you are drinking. Fresh mountain water is hard to come by. Did you know that only three percent of Earth’s water is freshwater of which only 1.2 percent can be used as drinking water.
I have a few watering holes I visit here in Northern California where I catch the water straight from the mountain. My favorite is Mount Shasta water but lately I’ve ventured to Stinson Beach where sacred water comes straight out of the hill side. There are also state of the art filtration systems I highly recommend that will cleanse and restructure your water for drinking. I have seen the difference between house plants grown with tap water and house plants grown with structured water. Wow, what a difference.
Check out my short 2 minute video where I get you connected to the water element both inside your body and outside your body. Please like and subscribe to my channel where you can learn more life hacks and how to wake up well.
Recently a dear friend, who I hadn't heard from in a while, reached out to me. Anne is someone who I share a deep spiritual connection with, whether we communicate often or with long intervals in between. She wanted to know if I would teach a yoga class to the high school girls basketball team in Rocklin CA. I said YES, I would LOVE to. We continued to chat and she shared with me that she had recently walked parts of the Camino de Santiago. As readers of my newsletter you may recall, I had the good fortune to walk portions of it last summer with my husband and son. As we talked Anne shared with me that she wrote a poem about the Camino or "The Way" as it is sometimes called. I found her poem beautiful and inspiring, full of wisdom. With her permission I'm sharing it with you now. What I found so universally appealing is that it speaks to the feeling we all have sometimes of being on a path and wondering whether or not we've lost our way. We are always looking for guidance. May this poem provide some of that guidance to those who read it.
The Way is Here A Poem by Anne Evans
The Way is Here
There are yellow arrows along the Camino de Santiago.
My friend told me about them.
In fact, they became her spirit guides,
silent indicators offering her a way to move on.
What a comfort, when thinking you are lost,
to receive this confirmation that you’re on the path.
Some are drawn to wander off, to sample and sip
or get too near a cliff or busy roadway,
but there’s that arrow appearing like an open hand,
offering the way: Right over here. The way is here.
Where are the yellow arrows for us now, as we move on,
wondering if we might be lost?
Do they flicker like blinkers in sync with our hearts?
Do they insert themselves in our dreams? In our guts?
Do we hear them in a child’s repeated question?
Can we see them in the green glow of our cell phones?
The path itself calls out to us: Pay attention, pilgrim.
Travel light. Walk with quiet confidence, then rest.
You’re here.You’re okay. This is your way.
And when we put down our fretful loads
we see the tender arrows, faint footprints,
feathers, pebbles and shells, markers left by others.
Notes from our mothers, words from our friends
all pointing out : there are so many ways.
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
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.