To the Mother Who Stabbed Her Children, We Failed You as a Society

Shanynthia Gardner…

My heart goes out to you.

We failed you as a society.

Although I truly want to, I cannot really fathom the depths of despair which caused you to commit such a heinous act against your children; your flesh and blood.

I can only imagine that you must have been in such turmoil with your mind and body having gone through so many pregnancies so quickly with no time to recuperate. You probably have not slept a full night in more than 5 years.  Your pregnancies probably depleted your body of all of its nutrients that allow for someone to think logically and with reason.

I do not know your circumstance and I can only speculate about what kind of person would continually get you pregnant so quickly after having so much strain on your body.  I truly hope you were not also in an abusive relationship.  A person like that to me could not have been a loving and understanding father, husband, or partner.

I cannot imagine what it would be like, but I do want you to know that I am mourning the lives of your children and hoping for the best for your surviving son.  He is going to have to endure all of the ridicule that you receive and his heart will be tortured for many years to come.  Some people do not think about these things when they quickly judge someone else’s action.  For that I am truly sorry.

I really hope that the other partner/s involved in this tragedy do not exploit these circumstances for financial gain when he or they are culpable in this matter.  Women do not have babies alone and real fathers have compassion for their wives and partners.  Real men help with the children and try to relieve stress on the mother.

I too have been in the deep shadows of the depths of despair where psychosis lurks. It is not enjoyable to rise from those places back into the light and realize the pain and destruction that you have caused.  You can never go back.  You must now forever live with this guilt and for that I am really sorry, and I do not judge you.  My heart goes out to you and your family.

Human beings whom are reading this, if you know a mother who too has had this many children in such a short time period please give them some stress relief!

Cook them a good dinner.

Clean their house.

Watch the kids and give them an afternoon off.

Hang out, laugh, and do laundry together.

Do not make them feel bad for having gotten pregnant yet again. It happens.  What is done is done.  The least we can do is help make life a bit easier so that the next generation of human beings can grow up to make this world an even better place where tragedies like this, that are preventable, do not occur.

We can learn from this.

We are all in this together.

http://www.survivingppp.com/2016/01/postpartum-psychosis-can-you-forgive.html#.V3gGUDVRKAU

View story at Medium.com

http://thehealthcure.info/this-chilling-story-of-postpartum-psychosis-will-make-you-rethink-maternal-mental-illness/https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/isnt-what-i-expected/201202/postpartum-psychosis-scary-treatable

*Edit Note: I was informed via Facebook by George Brown of WREG that his understanding is that not all of the children were Shanynthia’s biological children and that we do not know if her husband was supportive or not.  He also added that we do not know if she sought, turned away, or was turned away from an kind of treatment.  I wanted to add these because I wrote earlier from the heart after hearing such negativity about this story.  I did not do any research and did not claim that I was reporting in any way about this story.

I would like to note that women can have postpartum psychosis from only one pregnancy.  It does not just occur after multiple pregnancies.  Also I would like to note, that I thank all of those fathers out there that do their best to be supportive, my husband is one.  You guys rock as well as any aunts, mother, sisters, friends, and the like that support our mother’s in this world.  We need people like you.  We need deeply caring and compassionate people to support us in any way possible.

Advertisements

A Wandering Soul

A Wandering Soul…

I love to wander.

I love to wander through thoughts which ponder
of experience and understanding
of the many possibilities.

Wander through things that are imaginable
because I have had the ability and seen
and had the ability and did

and wander through things that are unimaginable
that only peek through bits and pieces
small gestures and fragments minutely perceivable

I love to imagine all the multitude of possibilities
and then to know that I still cannot fathom it all…

This understanding pushes me to wandering more
wander through the thoughts of others
not just in present day

but to travel into the past
to experience the lives
to imagine the exasperation
to feel the emotions of times before
yet ever so present

I love wandering through my gratuitous thoughts
things that come freely with experience
many memories of that which I have lived

My thankfulness of the language that humans have created
My gratefulness for the humans whom created the tools which recorded it
…and for the many hours spent and lifetimes used to document and record
so that I may wander this vast universe of possibilities

Thanks be to so many humans
throughout so many ages
influenced by so many cultures and ways of lifetimes
…for the thoughts of which I love to wander.

Awe Inspiring Artwork is What I Do…

20150504_155926-1-1-1[1]The above is a painting I finally finished. (After showing up for myself) I have been working on it for about 2 years now. This particular piece was my exploration on compromise in relationships.

The idea behind it began with a video I watched of Jennifer Aniston interviewing Portia and Ellen on the Ellen Show.


You will have to watch the clip to get a greater understanding. I love for my outside world to help me question my inner world, and this is one reason I create. I create to explore myself and I have been having an existential crisis in my life for at least the last four years. It has definitely been my dark night of the soul, my journey into the valley of the shadow of death, and my all out saving grace wrapped into one. I am forever grateful for this journey within.
After watching this snippet of the show on the YouTube, I quickly jotted down the premise for the piece of work. I was fascinated by the relationship of these to women and their journey together. I wanted to show how this journey could be used to reflect how we as humans compromise in our lives to bring about acceptance and happiness in our lives.

In the painting I depicted a dilapidated house in the background that is ready to be transmuted into something greater.

House

                                                                            House

hous3

                                                                 House Again

According to the video this is what Ellen likes to do. She likes to explore the beauty of a home and create something greater in the process. Many of us do this in our everyday lives be it working for a corporation or a small mom and pop business. We want to create something greater in our world.

I then placed Ellen and Portia on a path in the woods.

Ellen and Porta path

                                                           Ellen and Portia on the Path

6 Ellen and Portia Path

                                           Ellen and Portia in Shadow on the Path

Path and Ellen2 This represents their journey together and the journey of all humans in existence. One can see within the painting that the light from outside of the woods has lighted the path and helps to define the features within the darkness of the woods. We cannot see this inner world unless we shine some sort of light on it. These two women are experiencing their journeys, albeit differently, together. Ellen is pulling Portia in a wagon. Ellen may be moving from one creative project to another creative project, but she is compromising with Portia by pulling her weight along instead of making her walk beside her. This is a compromise being made to have the fulfillment of a relationship. As long as the weight is not a negative aspect of the relationship, then there should be no reason why this particular choice of compromise should be detrimental to the lives of those involved. I see this as a greater truth that can be seen and accepted by others as well with these two woman as a great example.

Within my exploration of this concept I have added to this picture. When I add things I do so because I feel they are needed. It is not until afterward that I begin to explore their meaning. For instance. I added a small herd of deer. 4 to be exact and all does. I then find our that deer can represent grace, love, generosity, and abundance. I also found that deer symbolizes an inner journey, specifically female deer.

Symbolism

                                                                    Symbolism

Then the number four has very specific meaning.

I have also added
ivy, bluebells, red japanese maple tree, white blooming cherry tree, bridge, stream.

There is probably many more symbols, but you can see how they begin to paint their very own picture within the artwork.

The symbolism seems to just grow from the creative process. These things are never consciously chosen because of what they represent. It is as if the symbols manifest themselves to help me to understand what I am working through as an artist and human. To me is is a connection to the spiritual aspects of my journey, and I love exploring this part after the completion of a piece of work.

The best and worst thing about symbolism is that it can be interpreted however one would like.

I for so long have had an inner world of chaotic stories filled with negative reactions and intense emotions. I have told myself these stories with a chaotic dialogue. Talking about what I felt was going on in just about every situation I had been in. When I entered into a place, I immediately took the seat of inner reflection. Constantly judging my every action, every thought, every emotion, every word spoken aloud. I judged it against my background of perspective that I had of the world around me. I chose how I would interpret my world.

I am coming to the conclusion of my delusion.

I synchronistically was given clarity this morning from this piece of Sufi Rumi wisdom:

Although an imaginary image in this reality does not exist,
see how the world turns by a fantasy that still does persist.
Mankind’s peace and war because of a fantasy are turning…
Mankind’s pride and shame from a fantasy are springing…(Original Link)

I have been battling my internal dilemma, my imaginary image of the world around me. Why do I create something to battle? Why do I create turmoil? I know I create the perspective that I choose to see in the world around me. So why am I creating such a daunting reality?

Why, because I have lived the story that I was told. I have lived with a reality inside my mind that is a reflection of someone’s mind or image of the world.

I recently watched two similar documentaries that were completely different, and it really helped me to perceive this little bit of truth. These were not intentionally watched to seek very different perspectives, we just watched them very close together because the environment and innovation have been on our minds. I was given a good dichotomy that was going to ring true just a few days later, and this is why I was led by the universe to watch them.

For this little piece of Rumi wisdom to be understood the full content of the documentaries does not need to be known.

The first documentary was the Atomic States of America.

The primary objective of the movie was against nuclear power. I can tell you that the story plot heightened and culminated in me feeling horrible about human innovation and that society should be wiped off of the precious mother earth so that she can heal. Of course this is the primary purpose of the movie. It is meant to show the bad, dark, negative side of the atomic age and nuclear power as a whole. I would not be surprised if it was created with funding from the coal industry.
The second documentary Pandora’s Promise.
was also about nuclear power completely but from the opposite viewpoint. It was pro-nuclear power. This documentary heightened and culminated in me feeling overjoyed and excited about human innovation and advancement as a society. I was filled with musings and creativity after watching this movie. I felt positive and wanted to get to work on creating something great!

I definitely wanted to explore more after the second documentary. I do not want to debate morals and who is on the right side of the fence. I do not want to figure out which way is the right way. I only want to think about and explore the side the makes me as a human feel fulfilled and alive.

After watching Atomic States of America my husband and I were brought into for two days an existential crisis. We were ruminating about the tragedy of our lives and the lives of all of mankind. We were trying to figure out what we could do to help reverse the horrible bad things that we as humans have wrought on this earth. This is not a very happy place to be. We want to exist and be happy. We want to love our fellow man and celebrate in his victories. We do not want to exist to tear down and destroy society. Yet we allowed negative thoughts into our inner realities. These thoughts brought about more negative thoughts and more ruminating about sadness and wrong.

I do not want to live like this and neither does my husband. I definitely do not want to raise a family in this hole of a reality. Like we have dug ourselves down into the pits of hell and now we must exist amongst the monsters and death that we have uncovered.

Certainly I get to choose which reality that I want to exist in. I get to pick the side that I want to be on. I see this now. It has been here all along and I just choose not to see it. I get to live in my chosen reality. This is the only reality that I get to experience. Why would I not choose to experience the good positive feelings instead of the negative.

I am reminded of a saying, and I am not sure who said this, but it sits well with this lesson of mine.

“It doesn’t really matter what path one follows. What matters is the way that they follow the path.”

Are you allowing negative thoughts to cloud and darken your reality?

I am brought to the visualization of how the darkness and shadow help to define the light. We cannot have positive with the negative, but we definitely do not have to only live out the negative aspects.

I am reminded of another Rumi insight:

“Now is the time to see the sunlight dancing as one with the shadows.”

I am beginning a new series of portraits today. This series I believe has been implanted into me as a tiny little seed that is going to grow into something that will help others to perceive this wisdom. I will be exploring the ideas of shadow and light and how they interact with one another to help us perceive our reality.

In the mean time, what did you get out of this?

I will be exploring this subject a bit more as I work on this project and hopefully you can help me to explore more deeply.

Earth is Still a Magical Place

Fishing Day Acrylic on Wood

                                                                          Fishing Day
                                                                       Acrylic on Wood

You can’t really know what life may bring you, so you may as well live each moment as it comes.

I had the pleasure this last weekend of exhibiting some of my artwork at the local County’s Earth Day Festival. The festival’s main purpose is to highlight Eco-accountibility, sustainability, and the benefits of supporting local business. It was a bit last minute, but I have so many recycled wood paintings I that I wanted to show off I put in the effort to make it. Making it to the festival wasn’t an easy task either.

Just 2 days prior I spent the evening in the ER at LeBonheur with one of my sons. He had been drawing with a pencil and somehow managed to poke his eye so severely we had to return daily for check-ups on the healing progress. (His 2nd corneal abrasion in less than 6 months)

The first day check-up made me question adding the extra stress of actually preparing and setting up a booth at the festival. I told them I would be there, but dammit I had a good excuse for canceling last minute.

I decided canceling would not be showing up for myself, so I hung in there.

My booth set-up inviting people to examine and explore my process.

             My booth set-up inviting people to examine and explore my process.

It was great fun too and so worth the extra effort. I ran into many different people and got to talk art all day. Not just any art either, my art. I am trying to talk more about the feeling I have when I create and expressing why I create. I never realized that I was telling myself for so long that I was unworthy believe the story that people didn’t want to hear about why I created art. I no longer hold that belief.

I make great art and I have so many reasons why I create the things I do, and if I can make positive change in a persons life because of those reasons, then I am going to share them.

The highlight of my day came while on the way home. I spotted a large piece of pink tin (or maybe aluminum) on the side of the road. Finding cool stuff to make Awe inspiring art out of is just awe inspiring to me, but this particular time was a synchronistic moment.

During the day I spoke with two beautiful elderly souls who had a fun time in the booth chatting and exchanging ideas. One of the women was reminded of a friend that creates flower art for her garden out of tin. The woman asked me if I ever made anything of the sorts. My response was that I hadn’t really ever found any tin on the side of the road to make anything out of, and I supposed that most metals in good quantity would more than likely go to the scrapyard. I promised her though that if I found some, I certainly would try and find something to do with it.

You should have seen the smile across my face when I came across some bright pink tin perfect for making some flowers. (I have been on an echinacea purpurea trip lately.)

After loading up my booth with some help from the ROTC fellows, I made my way to the house having to stop for fuel along the way. I didn’t noticed on the way to the festival that I needed gas for the van, so on the way home I decided to forgo the interstate and take the two-lane highway home. This way I was able to stop for fuel. After fueling up and making my way North to the house, I decided at a 4-way stop to take a left and meander the back-way home. I love taking the back roads filled with meadows, small farms, horses, and loads of trees. It soothes the soul. Especially after a long day filled with so many people.

It was down this road that I spotted the tin.

I immediately looked for some spot to turn around, pulled into a driveway, and then was struck with this site:

Beautiful pasture with train tracks in the rear

                                         Beautiful pasture with train tracks in the rear

I parked to get out and snap a few pictures along with a video. Again stopping to allow myself to be inspired by my surroundings.

Pasture

PastureI then returned to my van, went back up the road, and picked up the tin.

I can’t help but to think of not only all the things that added up to me finding that pink tin, like needing gas, choosing to turn, but also the fact that I had had an earlier conversation about tin and making flowers. It was not just tin, but pink tin. These are some of the moments that I cherish as magical in life.

It may not mean much to anyone else, but it definitely make my reality a bit more special, magical, and so awe inspiring.  Stay posted for my pink tin sculpture.

my pink tin

                                                                          my pink tin

Do you have a great synchronistic story to tell? Please share the story or a link. I would love to read it.

Wallowing Will Get You Nowhere

A little nugget of wisdom I found in one of my notebooks.  The painting is one of mine as well titled "As Above So Below.

A little nugget of wisdom I found in one of my notebooks.                                                                     The painting is one of mine as well titled “As Above So Below.

This morning I found the following written in one of my many notebooks. I wrote it a few years ago around the time I launched my first website. I had sort of forgotten about it.

I want a jolt to spring forth through my art and strike people. Strike them with logical thought and reason. Something to bring them up out of the wallowing in sorrow for themselves and mankind.
I don’t want fame and fortune. I want a society with creative fortitude and passion for life.
A spring of new life will come forth.

I want change.

Real change, not some cheap knock-off pretending to hold some altruistic motive, but a change that is of goals. What we need is a change that can only happen when one reaches down within the deepest and darkest chasms within their being and fight their demons head on and truly extinguish those undulating negative thoughts.

I have definitely wallowed in those pits of sorrow and despair for myself and many other people around me, as well as those I didn’t even know.  So much so that I have been hospitalized more than once for suicidal ideation and its failed attempts.

I have been one to compare myself with so many others.

I have looked down my morals nose at others.

I have seen so much negative in the others and the world around me.

Why was everything around me so terrible and negative? My despair grew as did my wallowing. I thought that I had so much pity for everyone else. I felt as though I could be a moral beacon and bring those I pitied into knowing truth.  What I had was not empathy, but pity.

The very act of me feeling sorry for anyone else automatically brought them down to a level beneath me. As if I was some sort of saving grace for them. You may see some of this mindset in my past posts, which I am not going to remove because I have a changed perspective. I want this blog to be an ever changing being just as I am. It reflects my growth as an individual and it gives me something to look back on and question. I will not hide who I am, have been, or will become.

Recently, what I have begun to understand is that all the negative in the world that I was seeing has been my mirror of the perspective that I hold. (My negative is my negative. You may be harboring your own in a completely opposite truth of mine, but the mechanism is just the same.)

I have known of the saying that “Life is your mirror.” I have repeated it to others. I definitely have told my teenage daughter numerous times, but it never really sunk in fully until this last week. If you are not familiar with the life mirroring you concept, I found the following story today while putting this post together that helps illustrate the point. I would also suggest reading the original article source.

“There was a puppy in the woods, he was feeling sad and depressed with his life. He entered a house of mirrors (all the walls lined up with several hundreds of small mirrors). When he entered the house, he saw hundreds of sad puppies around him. Where-ever he looked he saw sad puppies. He became sure now that the world was full of sadness, because there were so many sad puppies. This confirmed the belief in his mind that sadness is all there is to life, and he became more sad and depressed as he left the house of mirrors.
There was a second puppy in the woods, he was feeling very angry within and was frustrated with his life. He had a scorn on his face and his eyes were narrow with anger. He entered the house of mirrors and saw himself surrounded by hundreds of angry puppies. He was only seeing his reflection on the mirrors, but he did not realize that. He snarled at the reflections and the reflections snarled back at him. In his mind he became convinced that this world is full of anger, and that he needed to defend himself against these angry puppies all the time. He came out of the house angrier and more frustrated with the world.

There was a third puppy in the woods, he was feeling full of joy and he was romping around with his tail wagging. He entered the house of mirrors and was extremely thrilled to see hundreds of happy puppies wagging their tails, smiling at him with glee in their eyes. He felt blessed to know that this world was full of happiness and that he had nothing to worry about, because there were so many happy puppies out there for company. He came out of the house feeling even more joyful, with a deep conviction in the goodness of life.”

If you replace the puppy with yourself, and you replace the house of mirrors with the external reality of your life, you can make a direct co-relation and realize the truth hidden in this story.

If I had read this information before and repeated it, why did it not click with me? Why did I not see it for what it was? It is because I have been lying to myself for so long that it had become an unconscious action. I was not aware of it, even though I touted its benefits to others.

I was living a lie. I didn’t believe in my worth. I told myself the worst case scenario about myself for so long that I believe it to my core and built up my belief system on its foundation. Not ever realizing that the foundation core of my beliefs was a complete cauldron of shit.

The worst is that I wanted to bring everyone else down to my trodden level. I saw it as some sort of haven. I was so blindsided as if I had Stockholm syndrome with my false belief system.

I wanted to tear down all of the work of our forefathers. To tear down the belief that humans are miraculous problems solvers, creators, innovators, creators, and all around good people.

I was calling for apocalypse.

I basically wanted mankind to be dumb-ed down and kept at a preindustrial level of just existing.

I wanted these things because I hated myself, so I reflected that into the world around me.

I certainly didn’t want just existing to be my lot in life, yet I was okay with wanting to throw all of mankind’s advancements and technology out with the proverbial bathwater.

Yes, we as a species have done some horrible things and are still carrying on some not so pleasantries, but we all make mistakes. We can either admit those mistakes and move on toward change in our world, or we can continue to bicker amongst ourselves about who knows the right way.

If we see negativity in our world, we need to ask ourselves from what perspective are we viewing that negativity.

We can continue to see great change in this world.

How Are You Affecting Your Reality?

Exchanging energy is second nature with humans.

                                      Exchanging energy is second nature with humans.

I had a clarity of mind in an energy exchange with another person this morning. This exchange of energy was through the form of thoughts that were created by our brains’ reactions to each others brain’s outward expression of thoughts. Each one of us has the ability to create and express thoughts which are created by our brains through an energy exchange system.

I feel like this initial paragraph is rather confusing. So I created a cartoon to make sure you understand what I mean by energy exchange.

How we create our stories

                                                            How we create our stories

Energy ExchangeI want to show you the perspective of how you are physically being affected as well as your immediate world around you is physically being affected by not only yours, but everyone’s thoughts through this energy exchange system.

Before I explain to you this truth that I have come to realize, I need to make sure you completely understand how my mind has come to this conclusion. I do not want my saying “You are affected physically by your thoughts’” to seem as some metaphysical or esoteric froofroo grasp of our reality, so I am going to add a ton of links, but not an exhaustive list.

(Do yourself justice and read.  A lot.)

Your thoughts are energy.
Atoms and the smaller and smaller particles that make up atoms are a form of energy.  Your body is a cohesive lump of energy formed for the creation of something.

If you have a reaction to a situation (be it angry, nervous, upset, emotionally touched, happy, excited, sad) then you are being affected energetically which translate to physically affected by that reaction.

In using the phrase “a reaction” I am using the definition “a response to a stimulus.”

The energy is chemical and swirls around in your brain which in turn creates thoughts, hence thoughts are energy in the form of bio-magnetic energy.

Is that energy for good or bad? Are your thoughts positive or negative?

In these questions I am under the assumption that consuming energy and never creating something with the energy consumed one effectively creates inward flow of negative energy. This to me would be a void constantly consuming energy.

On the other hand consuming energy and then creating something for others to consume would effectively create a positive outward flow of energy.

Does one get a return on their energy consumption or do they just keep consuming?

An example of a positive outward flow would be working and creating value with their body and mind.

An example of a negative inward flow would be continually pulling in the energy of others to consume without giving anything back. Anyone know of a chatty Betty in the office that brings about the worst in people?

Humans are energy exchangers of sorts. Our bodies are an energy exchange system as well as other beings in the world, like animals and plants.

We consume energy in the form of food by breaking it down into its smallest components to be reassembled into whatever we need it for.

I may have drawn this one backward, but you get the idea hopefully.

                    I may have drawn this one backward, but you get the idea hopefully.

The brain and its functions consume the majority of our energy.

And we project this energy out toward those around us as well.

The energy of our brains has an effect on the energy of our hearts and vice versa. This energy also effects the hearts and minds of those closest to us. The more energy that we give into our thoughts and emotions the stronger our circle of effect we create.

Are we creating a whirlwind of negative aspects in our life?

How do our thoughts effect those around us?

Do we have a negative return on our energy consumption, or do we have a positive return from our energy system?

Do we just consume or do we put thought and function back into our environment for this exchange. For energy is not destroyed or created. Energy gets moved around. How are we moving that energy around?

Do we just consume? Are we consuming more than what we can effectively return back into the world in exchange?

*Note the use of affect vs effect is a bit confusing for me, so I may have gotten some of them wrong.  Otherwise I tried. Also, I am not a scientist and only theorize my truth explained.  I do invite debate, though.

Deep Thoughts Are Always Coming…What Do I Do With Them

image

I grabbed one of my many notebooks the other day as I prepared to go to a meeting about a mural project.  I recently pulled many of my art boxes out in preparation of an upcoming festival (my art business is currently composed of large plastic tubs while we try to convince someone they want to buy our home). So, the notebook I grabbed was one I haven’t looked through in awhile. I enjoy going back and reading my thoughts. There is an enumerable amount of notebooks filled with many musings.  I have told my husband that if I die before him, he must try to put my thoughts together somehow, but after my findings the other day, I may just begin sharing all that I find. Here is my little gem from the other day. You are going to have to let go Be yourself Open up Grab your muse Let it light your path And bring you into its grasp Get on a wild tangent Get past the smoke and mirrors Let the lies drop by your side Get off and leave the train There is no reason to hide Traces left behind…blown away Halt the sway Lifting, I think about the things you’ve said I think about the things you did You did help to bring about a greatness I can’t live without You are a living sentiment You brought from me my commitment I hated to say goodbye, but it was time to move in another direction A greatness with one day surface from a seed that was placed You will one day appreciate love of life and experience My greatness one should not underestimate I miss your face and sometimes Contemplate…

Has Your Lifestyle Been Designed By Marketers

20150407_173213-2-1

My husband moved up in the world of business about a year and a half ago. We did like most Americans and began spending more money. We decided to expand our family. We bought a new vehicle, and we decided to buy a larger house….this on top of just spending for spending’s sake.

Then we stopped ourselves and my husband quit his job on Friday after a culmination of synchronistic events.

Why?

Because he wanted to stay at home more. We need him and he wants to be with us. Yes, I do have an art business I run out of my home, but it is still scary as hell moving away from an 8:30-6:30 job. (Screw this 9-5 nonsense, he was always away longer)

I really appreciate the following article for its candidness. I promise to update you on my husband’s antics at home. He has been home for only a few days straight and already my baby’s first words are dada…go figure.

Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek).

Have you quit you day job?

I want to know gory details.

Poop Health is No Joking Matter

I was prompted this morning to share this with you guys…

Actually I was prompted about this time last year to share this story, but I have been reluctant to put a face to my poop story.

I get it; poop is icky stuff brimming with bacteria that can cause the worst retching this side of Texas. It is private and not socially acceptable to speak about poop, but why is it not acceptable? Toddlers certainly have no qualms about poop. They are definitely proud of anything they create, and poop is their creation. Creating to them is still magical and mysterious. Think about how proud mothers are who birthed a child…to a toddler they are birthing this strange stuff every day. They are not quite sure what it is; they know they can’t touch it. But, they are curious.

I have been asked before if poop is actually made of chocolate; very seriously so. I have had to do some strong coaxing, convincing a toddler that it is not chocolate. Diagrams and Grey’s Anatomy…I digress.

This story is not about my toddlers, though. This story is about me. (You can view my toddler’s poop antics here.)

My poop story does start way back when, though.  From the time that I was a small child I thought having a bowel movement twice a week was normal. That was my reality and I never questioned it. People of course didn’t talk about these things either. In my family, we didn’t talk about much at all. I can remember having a difficult time even speaking out loud to adults, let alone speaking about forbidden things.

Poop speak really isn’t forbidden, but it is shunned as a no-no from a very early age. I started shushing my children from the first time they uttered poop speak in public, because that is what I was taught. I was taught many things from a young age that I never thought twice about instilling in my own children. We are socially groomed by our immediate family members and perpetuate those social norms until we contemplate them otherwise.

…and I have contemplated otherwise.

I now know that daily bowels habits are a sign if excellent health and poop speak is common in my home. It is not uncommon to hear the exclamation, “I pooped,” uttered in my house, or the question, “Have you pooped today?”

Now, understandably, one doesn’t have to poop every day. It really depends upon the quantity and quality of the food consumed. If your body is very active and the food is of high quality, easily digestible food, then you could go 2 days without a bowel movement and you are not having problems. However, if your body is sedentary and being filled with over processed grains and chemical sludge, then going every 2 days is a sign of a problem. You are backing up the most essential nutrient logistics system in your body, and with the eating habits of Americans going to the dumps, there is no wonder that one of the most prevalent diseases in our society are ones involving the bowels.

Colon and rectal cancers 4th Leading cause of cancer death.
Constipation is on the rise.

I’m just throwing those links out there…not really sure if there is any correlation or not, but my intuition says yes.

If you do a search you will find many more sites focused on treating constipation than you will find talking about healthy bowel habits. Chewing food completely, at least 22 times, is another healthy bowel habit I have found.

Since some like to shout fiber and dehydration first, I would like to add that as a child we did not have snack cakes or cokes in my home. Our snacks were fruits and veggies and we made tea and kool-aid by the gallons. I ate broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, corn, potatoes, and everything else veggie. We did have cold cereal, bread, and pastries. I still had no daily bowel habits. I just lived with what I now understand was chronic constipation.

I was made fun of by peers for having foul flatulence. I tried to laugh it all off, but it did bother me. For me pain in my joints started in my teens. I would get really bad shoulder and back pain just from vacuuming or wiping down tables at my waitressing job. I never realized this was something bad. We just sucked it up and didn’t complain in my house.
It took me being diagnosed at 28 with Lupus for me to even start researching.

I had had a sore throat for months that just would not let up. At first I thought it was allergies, and then I moved on to strep throat. I soon began contemplating more dire issues like having a thyroid problem. I would not have imagined the culmination of my symptoms would have garnered the diagnosis of Lupus.

After extensively researching the internet, reading numerous scientific papers, books, and blogs, I eventually started a gluten free diet to see if it would help my inflammatory response and tone down the Lupus symptoms. I first talked about this back in 2012.

After many months of this diet, maybe even more than a year I began having bowel movements everyday and sometimes more. I thought something was wrong.

Nope, nothing wrong with pooping numerous times a day. I found that it is actually healthy bowel habits. Since beginning my gluten free diet 3 years ago, I am in the best health ever! I am on no medication for systemic Lupus and I am not swollen in the mornings, I don’t ache all over, and I love having a bowel movement. It is the weirdest thing, but I am happy to feel the urge, sit down, everything comes out perfect, clean, and quick; never even strain. I love a gluten free diet.

No matter what the poo pooers out there say about gluten chic…I am sold.

There it is…my entrails laid bare.

I can go back to painting now.