PERIPLUS: A Review of Passage to Nirvana by Lee Carlson

I was compelled to begin this review having not yet finished the last page. Perhaps it’s that while the “end” is important in some way, no less – or perhaps even more significant and relevant – is the inspiration at any moment in Passage to Nirvana.

An unconventional autobiography, we come to know Carlson as he comes to know himself again after an ironically-charged event leaves him to live a life transformed irreparably by Traumatic Brain Injury. It is the story of a writer, now struggling with writing, writing to heal, writing to learn, writing to share the specific and the universal of our human condition. Carlson’s observations and narrations undulate, integrating the realms of life – inspiration, challenge, spirituality, reality, cause+effect, expanding one’s experience of mind, body and soul. It is in his authenticity, his meeting and telling of truths, in this unselfconsciousness that one finds one’s own comfort in being, in one’s own (auto)biography and condition.

I knew Lee prior to this book. But, I did not know him well. And wish I had had the opportunity. Our paths crossed through the familial lines, sometimes leading to light conversations, but as I recall, mostly short and simple pleasantries or greetings. I was not aware of the depth of his Zenness, the richness [...] continue the story

Health Through Movement: How Nia Changed My Life

By Jennifer Hicks

After 34 years living in my body, I became an expert. That is, an expert in myself. And I discovered, after all that time, that I am not ordinary.

I have Bipolar Disorder. But that’s not what makes me different. I am unique because of how I have learned to manage my Bipolar Disorder. Yes, I need medication and psychotherapy, but there’s more to my wellness plan. I use Nia – a fitness practice which not only offers me physical fitness, but also a lifestyle, and now a profession.

Looking at me, you’d never know I have a mental health issue. Spend a little bit of time with me and you still likely wouldn’t guess. Ask my family or friends about its impact on my life, and they probably wouldn’t be able to pinpoint anything “abnormal”. In fact, people would actually describe me as engaged, ambitious and driven. Looking at me from the outside, this mental illness thing appears to be rather invisible in my life.

Still, appearances, as they say, are deceiving. I do swing between abnormally elevated and depressed moods.

It’s difficult for folks to appreciate the considerable amount of energy I use every single day to level out my moods. [...] continue the story

Detoxing: An Intimate Exorcism

By Andrea Shewchuk

I began the process of rebalancing my intestinal flora, cleaning and rebuilding my liver tissue and nourishing my body with cocktails of antioxidants, freshly-pressed juice and a variety of fibres almost 2 months ago, addressing rapidly spreading and debilitating eczema from a systemic perspective. Until now, the process had expressed itself very logically and linearly as not only the eczema cleared before my eyes, but the many other side effects of candida pollution, emergency pharmaceuticals, passive exposure to chemicals, my emotional toxins, elusive unhealthy dynamics etc. gracefully disappeared. Only very once in awhile did I want to think that it couldn’t be this simple. And then I would swiftly abandon the thought.

It has been a week since I returned from a re-visit to the ocean and re-connection to a place of profound development. The week seemed uneventful except for many new stories and memories of laughter.

I had felt drained and the all-too familiar pain in my chest as I feared a return of pneumonia. This ended after less than 2 days when I was woken up one night by the consciousness of thick mucous in my throat. I was confused since my recent history with mucous was lung-related.

My throat burned. Viral, bacterial, a cold, new or retracing. Energy or [...] continue the story

Painting Pain Art Gallery – Three

Breast Cancer Mastectomy

I am a woman thru and thru. I am not defined by the size of my breast. I am sexy with an A cup or a D cup. I am sexy even with only 1 breast. I feel beautiful, therefore I am beautiful. A womans beauty comes from within and not from what is on the outside. I am beautiful, see me shine, I still have one left behind, a woman I am until the end, even though I am not a ten, my beauty is here, it’s now within, I am a woman till the end. Poem by: Nancy Crowell

Laura’s Foot This morning I woke somewhere between 6:00 and 6:30 AM. I do not know the reason I woke. I had only been “asleep” for about five hours, maybe less. I went to “bed” at just about 11:30 PM. I cannot see in the mornings, so everything was a myriad of light and dark, without color. I cannot hear normal sounds in the morning. I only hear a combination of ocean roar, antique radio and television static and my own heartbeat as loud as Poe’s Telltale heart. I lay there on my bed staring up, as even rolling over to get out of bed can take ten [...] continue the story

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